Workplace Stats & Trends in 2020

by Don Sjoerdsma | Career Advice Expert

Many people spend 40 hours a week
(or more) at work.

That's a huge chunk of your life, which means finding the right workplace should be extremely important.

To begin, you'll need to understand the modern workplace and your role inside it: How is it changing? Which factors influence your happiness? Which factors don't matter so much?

We pulled together a list of key workplace stats that we believe will help you understand work better than any one study could.

Let's begin with the positive: Job satisfaction is at its highest level in over two decades.

Workers1

Almost 54% of U.S. employees feel satisfied with their jobs, up 51% from the previous year.

Source: The Conference Board
Workers2

Job security saw the greatest gains among all the factors influencing job satisfaction.

Source: The Conference Board

Yet a majority of workers say they're still open to other opportunities.

Source: Jobvite

And they're not fully engaged.

Only 15% of employees worldwide and 34% in the United States are happy in their jobs.

Source: Gallup

Workers3 1

Mobile Workers3

Workers4

Managers, executives and government officials are the most engaged in their jobs. Those who work in manufacturing, construction and production are among the least engaged.

Source: Gallup

Engagement is important to business success.

People who work in high-engagement sectors benefit from:

Workers5 1

Mobile Workers5

Source:Gallup

Meanwhile, part-time workers want full-time work

Workers6

The majority of people (59%) who work part-time say they're looking for full-time work, yet they are already considered "employed."

Source: Jobvite

and job seekers want better pay

Workers7

Many job seekers (47%) report they are unsatisfied with salary/compensation.

Source: Addison Group

and are increasingly comfortable asking for it

Workers8

More job seekers (60%) report being comfortable negotiating their compensation, up from 51% in 2018.

Source: Jobvite
Workers9

And more workers (33%) negotiated the salary of their most recent job, up from 31% in 2018.

Source: Jobvite
Workers10

Of those who negotiated, 83% received better pay. How much higher?

Source: Jobvite

even if it means they have to lie.

Workers11

Some job seekers (7%) say they've lied about their previous salary during the interview process.

Source: Jobvite

Perhaps due to an increase in job satisfaction, job hopping has started to decline.

Only 16% of Americans say they change jobs every 1-3 years, down from 20% in 2017.

Source: Jobvite

Workers12 1

Mobile Workers12

However, it's still a good market for job seekers, so employers would do best to keep their workers happy.

Workers13

A majority (76%) of employees report that being passed over for a promotion will lead them to seek other jobs.

Source: Addison Group
Workers14

And 50% say salary is the strongest factor when it comes to influencing loyalty.

Source: Addison Group

According to some studies, culture is the main
factor influencing employee satisfaction.

Here's the top six, from most to least important:

  • Culture

    Culture and values

  • Leadership

    Senior leadership

  • Opportunities

    Career opportunities

  • Outlook

    Business outlook

  • Life Balance

    Work-life balance

  • Compensation

    Compensation and benefits

Source: Glassdoor Economic Research

Culture is especially important to the highly educated and already employed.

While having a strong company culture matters to a great majority of workers, only 37% says it's "very important" to them. Here's who culture matters most to:

Source: Jobvite

Workers15

Mob Workers15

Workers16

Culture can be a factor in job seekers either turning down an offer (17%) or quitting in the first 90 days (28%).

Source: Jobvite

Meanwhile, Americans are split on the importance of workplace diversity

About half of adults in the United States say it's very important to promote workplace diversity.

  • Workers17

    49% say it's very important.

  • Workers18

    26% says it's somewhat important.

Source: Pew Research Center

The racial and political divide on this question is notable. Here's the percent of each group that says it's important:

Workers19 1

Mobile Workers19

Source: Pew Research Center

but everyone wants to feel included, and most do.

Workers20

The vast majority (92%) of workers say they feel like they belong in their current workplace.

Source: EY

Simply checking in with employees regularly keeps them engaged.

Some workers (39%) say that when colleagues check in both personally and professionally, they have a greater sense of belonging at work. Other factors include:

Workers21 1

Mobile Workers21

Source: EY

Many Americans work long hours
and late nights.

Fancy Watch

Not quite one-third (30%) of workers say they've stayed up past midnight to finish a project.

Source: Jobvite

And many workers expect to work between 41 and 50 hours a week, including those who are:

Workers22

Mob Workers22

Source: Jobvite

That said, not everyone is a workaholic.

Some workers have done the following:

Workers23 1

Mobile Workers23

Source: Jobvite

Many people have turned to freelancing

Workers24

The majority (66%) of freelancers said the freelance job market improved between 2014 and 2017.

Source: Upwork

Workers25 1

Mobile Workers25

Source: Upwork

and are being rewarded for it.

Among the 17.2 million who say they quit a traditional job to freelance, two-thirds claim they earn more on their own.

Source: Upwork

Workers26 1

Mobile Workers26

Source: Upwork

Americans differ on how work relates to their identity

Workers27

Slightly fewer Americans (42%) believe work is fundamental to their identity as compared to those (46%) who do not.

Source: Jobvite

and whether a political identity can/should be expressed at work.

Workers28 1

Mobile Workers28

Women are less likely than men to feel comfortable sharing political beliefs at work.

Source: Indeed

In the end, even if they aren't happy, most employees will give notice before they bail.

Workers29

Only 6% of workers have quit a job without notifying their employer.

Source: Jobvite

Understanding what these stats are saying can help you land the interview you want-and deserve.

Whether you're ready to jump ship or just signed a job offer, there are a lot of ways to find more satisfaction in your career, including:

  • Making Plans

    Making plans to rise up the ranks.

    Getting in the door with a strong resume and cover letter is the first step. After that, you'll need to climb the ladder to earn the level of job satisfaction managers and executives report having.

  • Consider Career

    Considering a career as a freelancer.

    This won't work for everyone, but many industries, such as design, have a vibrant freelancing culture. Perhaps you could freelance as a side gig before you take the plunge full-time.

  • Find Company

    Finding a company that matches your values.

    With workplace culture increasingly important, you may want to trade off a tiny bit of money for the right culture fit. Just make sure you understand the company's culture and represent it well in your resume and cover letter.

Then, read more articles in our 2020 employment stats series, including:

About the Author

Don Sjoerdsma

About the Author

Don Sjoerdsma

Career Advice Expert

Don is a writer, researcher and content strategist with a proven track record in building cross-platform content plans in diverse sectors. He has written extensively on topics related to careers and employment, including interviewing, resumes, cover letters and the job search. His work has appeared on Oprah.com, The Huffington Post, Yahoo! and LiveCareer. He holds an M.S. in Journalism from Northwestern University, where he specialized in media innovation.

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