9 Workplace Benefits That Need Improvement

Workers are growing increasingly dissatisfied with their pay and benefits.

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Many workers feel fortunate to have a job at a time when the unemployment rate is over 9 percent. But a growing proportion of employed workers say that their current job doesn’t provide adequate pay or benefits. Employee job satisfaction has dropped to 83 percent, compared to 90 percent before the recession, according to a recent Gallup poll of 489 employed adults age 18 and older. Considerably more workers are now unhappy with their health insurance, retirement plan, and the amount of money they earn than three years ago. Here are the workplace benefits that workers are growing increasingly dissatisfied with.

[See 21 Workplace Benefits That Are Rapidly Disappearing.]

On-the-job stress. Over a third (34 percent) of workers say they are dissatisfied with the amount of stress they face at work, up from 28 percent in 2008.

Health insurance. The proportion of employees who are unhappy with their employer-provided health insurance has jumped 11 percentage points over the past three years from 19 percent in 2008 to 30 percent today.

Paycheck size. Some 30 percent of workers say they aren’t paid adequately for the work they do, up from 27 percent in 2008.

Retirement plan. The financial crisis showed many workers the downside of 401(k) plans. Slightly more workers are now dissatisfied with their retirement benefits (28 percent) than before the recession (25 percent).

[See 8 New Retirement Rules.]

Opportunities for advancement. Workers are growing increasingly pessimistic about their ability to move up at their current employer. The percentage of employees who are unhappy with their chances for a promotion has jumped 7 percentage points from 19 percent in 2008 to 26 percent in 2011.

Vacation time. Too little vacation time is a concern for 20 percent of workers, up from 18 percent in 2008.

Recognition. Some 19 percent of employees don’t feel that they are appropriately recognized for accomplishments at work, a slight increase from 17 percent in 2008.

Job security. Fear of losing their job is an increasing problem among the employed. Some 18 percent of workers are dissatisfied with their job security, up from 13 percent in 2008. Fewer than half (49 percent) of workers feel completely secure in their current job.

[See The 10 Most Difficult Retirement Decisions.]

Workload. After layoffs, the employees who are left often must take on additional responsibilities. The proportion of workers who are overwhelmed by the amount of work required of them has grown from 13 percent to 17 percent over the past three years.

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