Seven years after the end of the Great Recession, wages are still growing slowly, and the real value of what we earn is down 7.4 percent since 2006. Anyone would forgive workers for seeing the glass as half empty. But, according to PayScale’s latest report, the majority are actually quite optimistic – at least when it comes to the future of their employers.
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PayScale collected data from 425,219 workers between June 15, 2014 and June 15, 2016 to see how many workers felt optimistic about their employers. Respondents were asked how strongly they agreed with the statement, “I am confident that my employer has a bright future.” Response choices were on a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 representing “strongly disagree” and 5 representing “strongly agree.” Workers who chose 5 were considered to be “strongly optimistic,” while those who chose 4 were “optimistic.” Those who chose 3 (“neither agree/disagree”) were included in the “meh” category.
As you can see, the majority of workers (59 percent) were either optimistic or strongly optimistic about their employer’s future:
Which Workers Were Most Optimistic?
PayScale broke down the data by industry, job title, and state. Among industries, Real Estate, and Rental and Leasing reported the highest percentage (38 percent) of strongly optimistic workers – perhaps due to rising home prices, which are now only 2.9 percent below pre-Recession levels – followed by Finance and Insurance (36 percent), and Construction (35 percent).
Here, the reasons for optimism are harder to determine; while Dentists have a strong occupational outlook, with a job that’s expected to grow by 18 percent by 2024, Flight Attendant jobs are expected to grow more slowly, at only 2 percent during the same time period.
Finally, some states are home to more optimistic workers than others, due to the fact that they’re home to more thriving industries than some of their neighbors. Three western states took the top spot: Utah (36.8 percent), Idaho (36.6 percent), and Nevada (35.7 percent). Utah, for example, has a thriving Travel and Tourism industry, thanks to its five national parks.
Next up: it’s not all good news. Next week, we’ll look at the nation’s most pessimistic workers.
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