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Low Pay Biggest Source of Stress for Employees, Annoying Coworkers Second

By Associate News Editor
Reviewed by John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on August 18, 2012

Low Pay Biggest Source of Stress for Employees, Annoying Coworkers SecondAbout 3 out of 4 American workers are stressing out over their jobs, and the top reason is low pay, according to a new study by Harris Interactive for Everest College.

For the study, 898 adults (18 years of age and older) were interviewed by phone.  This was the second annual stress survey conducted by Everest College and also the second time that pay was rated as the biggest headache.

About 11% of participants reported that pay was their biggest source of stress.

Annoying coworkers were reported as the second most upsetting part of work, cited by 10% of respondents.

This was followed by commuting (9%), unreasonable workload (9%) and working in a job that is not their chosen career (8%).

There were a couple of positive aspects found in this year’s survey. While last year, 9% of participants had reported that their biggest fear was being fired from their job, this year only 4% cited that as their top concern.

Another piece of positive news was that 26% said nothing about work stressing them out at all, up from 21% last year.

Other sources of stress covered by the survey: work-life balance (5%), lack of opportunity for advancement (4%) and the boss (4%).

There were some interesting differences between women and men as well. Fourteen percent of women said low pay was their biggest stressor while only 8% of men said pay was an issue. Also 11% of women were stressed out because their job wasn’t their chosen career, compared to 5% of men.

Researchers also found that stress levels differed between people with different educational backgrounds. 

Among those with a high school diploma or less, 14% cited low pay as the first concern, followed by annoying coworkers.

College graduates ranked unreasonable workload as the biggest problem (13%), followed by low pay (11%).

Regionally, workers in the Northeast reported their workload as being the most stressful part of their jobs. In the South, workload was half as likely to be cited as a stressful part of their job.

Instead, in the South low pay was the number one (14%). In the West, the strongest complaint was the commute to and from work (14%).

Of note, the highest concentration of employees who said that nothing stressed them out on the job (37%) were those making $100,000 or more.

Source:  Everest College

 

Photo by Shutterstock.

 

APA Reference
Pedersen, T. (2012). Low Pay Biggest Source of Stress for Employees, Annoying Coworkers Second. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 2, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/news/2012/08/18/low-pay-biggest-source-of-stress-for-employees-annoying-coworkers-second/43333.html