American Work Life is Worsening, But Most Workers Still Content

Source Organization: Pew Research Center


08/30/2006 - Americans believe that workers in this country are worse off now than a generation ago - toiling longer and harder for less in wages and benefits, for employers who aren't as loyal as they once were, in jobs that aren't as secure, and in a global economy that might very well send their work overseas. Yet the public has generally taken in stride this perceived fraying of the social safety net at work, according to a new Pew Research Center nationwide survey. Most people still have positive feelings about their own jobs, and even though many are troubled by the way the forces of modernization and globalization are affecting the American workplace, the level of public concern today is not substantially greater than it had been a decade or two ago.

To be sure, most Americans are well aware that the social contract associated with work in America is going through a period of profound change - with the industrial-era model of secure jobs with good wages and benefits that predominated until roughly a generation ago giving way to a more cost-conscious and globally-competitive workplace marked by stagnant real wages, cutbacks to health benefits and retirement plans, and growing threats of having jobs outsourced abroad.

Read the full report American Work Life is Worsening, But Most Workers Still Content on the Pew Research Center Web site.

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