Manufacturing dissatisfaction

I happened to be having a look recently at a Statistics Canada release on how many hours people put into their jobs per week when it occurred to me to check to see if they had ever done any research on job satisfaction.

They had — well, almost. Back in October 2006, Statistics Canada had released a report on job dissatisfaction, based on 2002 data,  as part of its Health Reports series.

While large majorities of people in all occupations reported being satisfied with their jobs, there were several occupations where job dissatisfaction was higher than the national 9% average. These were:

  • Processing, Manufacturing and Utilities: 17% dissatisfied
  • Sales and Service Occupations: 11% dissatisfied
  • Administrative, Clerical and Financial Occupations: 11% dissatisfied

The relatively high level of job dissatisfaction among people in processing, manufacturing and utilities seemed rather intriguing. Regular readers of this blog might recall the observation last December that a city’s ability to attract and retain people from out of province was inversely correlated to the size of its manufacturing sector — i.e., that manufacturing tended to be a people-repellent, possibly due to the perception that manufacturing jobs are neither interesting nor lucrative nor secure.

At the opposite end of the scale, there was lower than average job dissatisfaction expressed by people employed in:

  • Farming, Forestry, Fishing and Mining: 4% dissatisfied (albeit with a data reliability caution)
  • Professional careers: 5% dissatisfied
  • Management: 6%

Technologists (7%) and people in the trades, transportation or equipment-operating professions (8%) tended to be about average in terms of job dissatisfaction.

Shift workers, low-income earners and young adults aged 18-24 also tended to be above average in terms of job dissatisfaction, while the self-employed, those with personal incomes over $40,000 or aged 40 and over were less likely than average to gripe.

As for what I was originally looking at — hours of work by occupation — it turned out that there weren’t many differences to report: regardless of industry, salaried workers typically averaged 35-40 hours per week, with mining and quarrying having the longest average work week in March 2011 (40.7 hours/week)  and educational services having the shortest average week (31.8 hours/week, possibly excluding take-home work).

* – This is just a hunch, but by looking at the types of careers that had relatively low and high levels of disgruntlement, it seemed as though having interesting work and a sense of control over the day might be vital to job satisfaction — and that having work that is dull, repetitive or which puts a person in a reactive position where they have little control can be detrimental to job satisfaction. Again, just a hunch.

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About theviewfromseven
A lone wolf and a bit of a contrarian who sometimes has something to share.

One Response to Manufacturing dissatisfaction

  1. Old Chum says:

    Yes it is getting harder to find people who really like their job , and that will contiune till there is a change in the way society veiws work and the 40 hr week . The gap between top wage and lower wage is still to big in many’s opions .

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