Security: What Americans Want from a Job

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State and local governments are facing a massive exodus of knowledge workers, one-third of whom will be eligible to retire in the next 5 to 10 years. At the same time, most state and local governments have done little to prepare themselves for a highly competitive employment market.

To learn more about what benefits and characteristics are important to prospective employees, the Center commissioned a public opinion poll of 1,200 Americans. Key findings from the survey include:

  • 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, followed by the retirement or pension plan (76 percent) and a flexible, family-friendly workplace (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).

Read media coverage of the poll.

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