Less than half of all Americans say they are satisfied with their jobs, down from 61 percent twenty years ago, according to the Conference Board, a private research firm.

According to a sample of 5,000 U.S. households, the newest entrants to the workforce are also the least satisfied with their jobs. Less than 40 percent of workers under the age of 25 are satisfied with their employment situation -- the lowest percentage ever for the demographic during the survey’s 20-year history.

The decline in satisfaction is not just concentrated among younger workers. Satisfaction levels among all workers, regardless of age, income or even residence, have deteriorated in recent years.

The survey found that job satisfaction levels tend to rise as hours worked per week increase, but begin to recede at 60 or more hours. Not surprisingly, workers who expect to be in their current position a year from now are much more satisfied than those who foresee themselves working elsewhere.

Consumers rated bonus plans and promotion policies as the least satisfactory benefits of employment, with less than 23 percent claiming they are satisfied with their company's policies. Satisfaction is also low for performance review processes, workload, work/life balance, communication channels and potential for future growth.

As expected, the lowest level of job satisfaction is exhibited among workers earning $15,000 or less per year, while workers whose earnings exceed $50,000 per year, at 52 percent, are the most satisfied with their employment situation.

Consumers rated bonus plans and promotion policies as the least satisfactory benefits of employment, with less than 23 percent claiming they are satisfied with their company's policies.

Educational and job training programs as well as non-monetary reward/recognition and performance review processes did not fare well either. Less than 30 percent of respondents claim to be satisfied with these job aspects.

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