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Americans Don't Really Want to 'Take This Job and Shove It'

Wednesday, 26 Jun 2013 | 8:53 AM ET
Are You Satisfied With Your Job?
CNBC's Steve Liesman reports 85 percent of respondents say they are "very" or "somewhat" satisfied with their job.

"Take This Job and Shove It" ran the 1977 workplace country music song popularized by Johnny Paycheck and sang with gusto by so many Americans since then.

Turns out, most Americans don't really agree with it. And they never did.

The June CNBC All-America Economic Survey finds the surprising result that Americans are overwhelmingly satisfied with their jobs.

What's more, they like their bosses, their co-workers and don't even feel that unhappy with their salaries.

The survey of 810 Americans from around the country found that 85 percent are either very satisfied or somewhat satisfied with their job. Just 14 percent are either very or somewhat dissatisfied.

Nicolas Hansen | E+ | Getty Images

The survey found majorities of Americans say they are content with key aspects of their work: 77 percent are satisfied with their bosses, 69 percent are satisfied with their salaries and 82 percent are happy with their co-workers.

(Read More: Americans' View of Economy Hits Post-Recession High: Survey)

Despite the popular notion that people are miserable at work, it seems job satisfaction has been the rule for decades.

A 1978 survey, conducted a year after Paycheck's song hit the airwaves, found 77 percent of Americans satisfied with their job. In fact, a look back at the historical record over 30 years reveals results remarkably similar to those found by CNBC, regardless of the prevailing economic climate.

The CNBC survey fund the main concerns of Americans when it comes to work appear to be with the chance to get ahead and with benefits. Just 26 percent say they are very satisfied with opportunities for promotion and 37 percent say they are very satisfied with their benefits.

While 69 percent say they are satisfied with their salaries, just 34 percent say they are "very" satisfied and 28 percent say they are dissatisfied, which is the highest negative rating for any of the 11 categories polled.

(Read More: CNBC All-America Survey Complete Results)

Only about 20 percent of lower-income Americans, those earning less than $30,000 a year, say they are very satisfied with either their benefits or their salaries. That compares with 50 percent of wealthier Americans, defined as those earning in excess of $100,000 a year. That group, however, tends to be somewhat less satisfied than average with their bosses and the recognition they receive at work.

Women are far more satisfied with their hours than men and with their work-life balance. But men tend to like their boss a bit more than women do. Small business owners and the self-employed are among the most satisfied overall and are particularly happy with their work-life balance but a bit less enthusiastic about their hours and benefits.

The most satisfied groups of all are those holding college and postgraduate degrees and those with more than $50,000 in the stock market. More than 90 percent of white-collar workers say they are satisfied with their work, compared with just 78 percent of blue-collar workers.

And 9 percent more Americans say their job makes "full use of their abilities" compared with just 31 percent when CNBC most recently asked the question in 2007.

(For a different view on that, though, read Americans Hate Their Jobs, Even With Office Perks)

The survey was conducted for CNBC by Hart/McInturff of Washington, DC. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.4 percentage points.

—By CNBC's Steve Liesman. Follow him on Twitter @steveliesman.

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