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5 reasons Singaporeans are still not happy

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In the last half decade, Singaporeans haven’t become much happier.

This is according to the latest annual Work Happiness Indicator 2013 by JobsCentral, which found workers in Singapore are only marginally happier in 2013 than they were during the height of the recession in 2009.

In 2009, the overall work happiness rating was 56.4, and today this number has only inched up slightly to 57.9.

Do these findings reveal that there is a serious disconnect between what employees want and what jobs are able to provide?

“This is a worrying trend, as a marginally happy workforce would have repurcussions on work productivity, innovation and Singapore’s economic growth in the longer term,” said Lim Der Shing, CEO of JobsCentral Group.

Other findings from the survey include:

1. Singaporeans approaching retirement are the unhappiest of the bunch

Local workers are most miserable at work if they are between 51 and 60 years old, as they scored the lowest on the happiness index at 55.5 – a 12% drop since 2009.

But, on the other hand, those aged 61 and above were the happiest.

2. Money is still king, but Gen Y want “advancement” while Gen X want “work-life balance”

Singaporeans want money, that much is clear, as every generation stated salary is the most important aspect of any job. But Generation X employees are also very big on work-life balance, which is no surprise.

In contrast, Gen Y employees rank work-life balance in fourth place, favouring advancement opportunities in their career after a good salary.

3. But salaries and career advancement cause the most dissatisfaction

We want the big bucks and the high flying career and when they don’t come, we’re miserable.

The report states both of these things cause the most dissatisfaction for workers, with many citing the rising cost of living as a reason for needing to keep increasing their salaries.

4. Singaporeans need $10,000 a month to be happy

Those earning $10,000 and above each month are really, really happy. They also have one of the highest increases in work happiness compared to 2009. In contrast, those who earn between $5,000 and $5,999 monthly have the greatest decline in happiness levels.

5. Local lawyers are really unhappy

Despite the higher salaries that many lawyer draw, employees in the legal job function showed the largest decline in happiness, with a 6% decrease in overall work happiness since 2009.


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