Security: What Americans Want from a Job


Summary:

It’s not just the money: New Center for Excellence poll finds Americans want health insurance and security; pay ranks farther down list.

Author(s):
Center for Excellence
Publication date:
1/6/08
Filed under:
Surveys
Download publication:
Security_What_Americans_Want_from_a_Job

It’s not just the money: New Center for Excellence poll finds Americans want health insurance and security; pay ranks farther down list.

The national poll, conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates for the Center for State and Local Government Excellence, surveyed 1,200 adults age 18 and older.

Whether security comes from health insurance, job security, the promise of a retirement income, or clear work policies, Americans want a lot more than just a paycheck from their employment.

Given a list of 15 benefits and characteristics that may be important in choosing a job:

  • 84 percent of Americans ranked health insurance at the very top.
  • Job security and clear policies and procedures (82 percent each) were ranked next in importance; the retirement or pension plan (76 percent); and a flexible, family-friendly workplace in fifth place (71 percent).
  • Pay ranked tenth with 65 percent, trailing such matters as getting quick decisions on issues (69 percent); working with talented managers (68 percent); having the potential for promotions (66 percent); and being creative and intellectually stimulated (66 percent).

In another key set of findings, Americans say state and local government jobs offer better benefits, job security, and chance to make a contribution to society, while jobs in the private sector offer better opportunities for innovation, greater chances to work with the best people, and better opportunities for promotion. They are divided on which sector offers the best compensation.

The poll, which surveyed participants by landline and cellular phone within the continental United States from October 24-November 4, 2007, had an overall margin of sampling error of plus or minus three percentage points.

Read media coverage of the poll.