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Job Satisfaction

Job satisfaction is high and widespread among Canadians, especially among those who feel their workplace is inclusive.


The Canadian Education and Research Institute for Counselling (CERIC) has released findings of a survey conducted by Environics Research Group asking Canadians about their job satisfaction, their perceptions about their workplaces and performance management, and the tools and resources they turn to when looking for a job or building a career. This project is a follow-up to a benchmark initiative completed in 2007 that asked similar questions. This article is an excerpt from the 2011 survey report.

Canadians are generally satisfied with their current jobs, with eight in ten who are very satisfied (31%) or somewhat satisfied (50%). A much smaller proportion of Canadians are somewhat dissatisfied (14%), while only five percent are very dissatisfied with their current job. Overall job satisfaction is remarkably similar across demographic strata; satisfaction is slightly higher among Canadians between the ages of 45 and 54 (88%) and residents of Quebec (91%). Overall satisfaction is consistent across income levels, but those with the highest household incomes ($100,000 and over) are more likely than others to be very satisfied (44%, compared to 31%).


Q.3 Would you say that you are very satisfied, somewhat satisfied, somewhat dissatisfied or very dissatisfied with your current job?
Subsample: Those who are employed full-time or part-time

The relative stability of job satisfaction among key demographic groups could suggest that Canadians are almost uniformly satisfied with their current jobs. This is not the case, however, as there is a significant connection between job satisfaction and an individual’s perceived satisfaction with and optimism about his or her ability to meet career goals. People who are less satisfied with their current jobs are also less certain about their ability to meet their career goals. Similarly, the most satisfied people are also the least likely to plan to move on to a new career. Job satisfaction rises to more than nine in ten (94%) among those who are generally content with their line of work and dips to just under six in ten (57%) among those who hope to move on to a new career.

Job satisfaction varies most based on perceptions of workplace inclusivity. Canadians who judge their workplaces to be very inclusive are more than twice as likely as anyone else to be very satisfied with their current jobs.

Job satisfaction by workplace inclusivity


Q.3 Would you say that you are very satisfied, somewhat satisfied, somewhat dissatisfied or very dissatisfied with your current job?
Subsample: Those who are employed full-time or part-time.


Job satisfaction factors. This survey asked Canadians to rate how important a number of factors are on their job satisfaction. As noted, overall job satisfaction is relatively stable across socio-demographic groups, but there are some notable differences among Canadians when asked about how important certain factors are to their overall job satisfaction. In general, Canadians prefer work that allows them to have a good work-life balance (70% very important) and work that is satisfying (64%). Pay and income (61%) are also important, followed closely by being able to do work that gives Canadians a sense of accomplishment (60%). Between six and seven in ten Canadians believe that these four factors are very important to their overall job satisfaction.

Smaller but still sizable proportions report that long-term job security (57%) and benefit protection (57%) are very important elements in their overall job satisfaction, suggesting that Canadians continue to value the advantages of long-term stable work, despite the growing number of reports in the media contending that these are two issues people should be ready to compromise given the current economic situation. Instead Canadians continue to place substantial emphasis and value on job and benefit stability.


 Q.4 There is a number of factors that play a role in job satisfaction. Do you think each of the following is a very, somewhat, not very or not at all important factor to your general job satisfaction? Subsample: Those who are employed full-time or part-time.

Among men and women in the Canadian workforce, while a similar a set of factors influence their job satisfaction, women are more likely than men to value workplaces that promote flexibility and offer satisfying work that gives them a sense of accomplishment. They also find having supportive work colleagues more important than men.

Canadians who identify as a visible minority generally have the same desires as other Canadians, with two notable exceptions. They are more likely than non-visible minority Canadians to indicate that opportunities for advancement (53% versus 42%) and flexible work options (50% versus 37%) are very important to their overall job satisfaction.

Older Canadians (50+) are far more interested than younger Canadians (i.e., those aged 18-49) in doing work that is satisfying (68%), that provides them with a sense of accomplishment (66%) and is worthwhile (60%). After working for 30 years or more, these Canadians really cherish opportunities to do work they consider to be important.

Read the full report, “On-line survey on public perceptions about career development and the workplace”, on the CERIC website.


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