Facts about the Workforce

FACT: Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, found in a study of more than 1,500 California health-care employees that commuters' attitudes shift from satisfaction to dissatisfaction when their commute takes 46 minutes or longer. Another study, conducted in the Netherlands, found people are much more likely to search for another job when their one-way commute exceeds 50 minutes. Another study, published in 2010 in Transportation Research, found employees tend to tolerate long commutes for years if it makes it possible for them to hold a high-paying job. Other research shows many people enjoy longer commutes if they can work, make phone calls, read for pleasure or take a nap. A commute shorter than 45 minutes can become intolerable, too, if commuters can't predict their arrival time with certainty because of traffic or unreliable mass transit. (Wall St. Journal, 1/9/14)

FACT: New hires often don't realize just how precarious their job at a startup can be (Wall St. Journal, 12/12/13):

  • New companies let nearly 25% of their employees go in the lead-up to their first birthday, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistic's most recent survey, which tracked employment changes between March 2012 and March 2013.
  • By contrast, job losses at established companies – which it defines as having been in business for longer than 18 years – are just 6.6% a year.
  • Sometimes the skills a startup sought in February no longer fit into its strategic plan come June.
  • Founders themselves can be the problem. Big thinkers focused on developing products are sometimes rookie managers with little or no experience staffing a company. These leaders often don't understand what qualities they should seek in employees, or they hire friends or acquaintances instead.
  • Employees who jump from the corporate world often don't move fast enough to suit startup founders, and then are surprised at how quickly they are fired.
  • Big companies, wary of wrongful-termination suits, tend to be slower to fire. Given their longer, and more onerous, hiring process—weeks of interviews, testing and training—big companies also may be hesitant to give up on an investment so soon.
  • Startups, especially early-stage ones, experience a lot of turnover, so being fired by one may not seem as much of a career setback as it would at a big company that rarely swings the ax. "Some people say failure is a badge," says H. Irving Grousbeck, who teaches entrepreneurship at Stanford University's Graduate School of Business.
  • Still, dismissed workers often don't see the pink slips coming. "People tell you, 'Oh, be careful, startups can be crazy, they turn and burn,' " says Michael Heist, who has learned the hard way. His employment at Quirky, a startup that helps people invent and buy products, lasted four months. "Until you're really a part of it, you have no clue."

FACT: “A survey sponsored by Monster.com and conducted by market research firm GfK, found that 15 percent of American workers said they disliked or hated their jobs. This was the highest level of job dissatisfaction among workers surveyed in seven countries” (CNBC, 11/20/13):

  • Of the U.S. candidates, just over half said they liked or loved their jobs, while 31% said they were merely satisfied. 22% said they loved their jobs so much they would do it for free.
  • 64% of Canadians said they liked or loved their jobs, and only 7% saying they disliked or hated work.
  • Other happier workforces included the Netherlands and India, where 57% and 55% of the respondents said they were happy in their jobs, respectively. India had the lowest level of respondents saying they hated their jobs, at 5%.

FACT: “According to economic research website FRED, the average employee in America works around 1,700 hours per year, while the average employee in France worked around 1,480. Workers in Asia work much longer hours, with Singaporeans putting in a whopping 2,300 hours a year,” (CNBC, 11/20/13).

FACT: 80% of workers in their 20s want to change careers (University of Phoenix survey; Seattle Times, 11/10/13).

FACT: Workers who say they are “very or somewhat satisfied” with their job (Associated Press study; AP article, 10/28/13):

  • 90% of workers age 50 or older.
  • 80% of workers under 30.
  • 92% of workers 65 and older.

FACT: When a new chief executive is hired, “chances are about one in four the chief financial officer will be out the door within a year” (Korn/Ferry Initernational survey; Wall St. Journal, 9/17/13).

FACT: “In its ongoing survey of the American workplace, Gallup found that only 30 percent of workers are ‘were engaged, or involved in, enthusiastic about, and committed to their workplace.’ The report found that different age groups and those with higher education levels reported more discontent with their workplace. Baby boomers, for instance, are more likely to be “actively disengaged” than other age groups. Employees with college degrees are also more likely to be running on autopilot at work. The survey classifies three types of employees among the 100 million people in America who hold full-time jobs (Gallup 2010/2012 survey; Los Angeles Times, 6/18/13):

  • The first is actively engaged, which represents about 30 million workers.
  • The second type of worker is “not engaged,” which accounts for 50 million. These employees are going through the motions at work.
  • The third type, labeled “actively disengaged,” hates going to work. These workers – about 20 million – undermine their companies with their attitude, according to the report.”

FACT: Moms now earn more than dads in almost a quarter of all U.S. families, the highest level in history (2011 U.S. Census Bureau data analyzed by the Pew Research Center; NBC News, 5/29/13):

  • Of the married women making more money than their spouses, 71% of the husbands are working and they have a median family income of $80,000, according to 2011 numbers.
  • Overall, women — including those who are unmarried — are now the leading or solo breadwinners in 40% of U.S. households, compared with just 11% in 1960, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau analyzed by Pew.
  • In 1960, only 4% of married moms were making more than their husbands; now it’s 23%. That translates into 5.1 million married “breadwinner moms.”
  • Of the women making more than their husbands, 49% have a college degree or higher and 65% are white. Most are also in their peak earning years — 67% of these women are between the ages of 30 and 50.
  • The Pew study noted that despite the fact that mothers are now equally or more educated than their husbands, a majority of fathers still earn more than their wives.
  • Overall, the survey respondents liked the economic benefits to families but also worried the work might take a toll on the children and marriages. About 67% said the change made it easier for families to earn enough money to live comfortably. About 28% said it was actually harder for families to earn enough, and 2% said it made no difference, according to Pew.

FACT: “About 70% of married moms who attended top-tier universities such as Princeton and Harvard were employed in 2010. That compares to about 80% of married moms who attended the nation’s least competitive universities. The married moms from the nation’s best universities also tended to take more time out of the workforce than those who attended the least competitive universities, and to work fewer hours if they did work at all. About 45% of the married moms from the best universities were working full-time, compared with about 57% of the married moms from the least selective universities. Other research has shown that graduates from top schools are more likely to come from wealthy families and to marry men who also attend prestigious universities and come from similarly wealthy families. That could give them more financial flexibility to opt out of the workforce.” (Analysis of married women between ages 21 and 54 who also had children under age 18; based on the National Survey of College Graduates, which provides government data on about 77,000 college graduates; NBC News, 4/12/13.)

FACT: “A PwC study of about 4,300 college-educated millennials found that 54% expect to work for between two and five employers over their entire careers. A separate study of workers ages 21 to 31, found on average, they expect to work only five jobs total during their lifetimes. In reality, it will probably end up being more like 12 to 15 jobs, said Alexandra Levit, co-author of the study, which was commissioned by DeVry University's Career Advisory Board and conducted by Harris Interactive” (CNN Money, 4/9/13).

FACT: “Many workers say their managers aren't trustworthy, don't provide enough guidance and fail to inspire good work, according to a report expected to be released Wednesday from Towers Watson, a risk-management consulting company. Fewer than half of workers said they have confidence in their senior managers, and 44% believe managers are sincerely interested in their employees' well-being, according to the study, which polled more than 32,000 employees at mid- to large-size private companies around the world in February and March” (Wall St. Journal, 7/11/12).

FACT: Economists currently see a couple of longer-term trends taking root. Dividing the workforce into high, medium and lower-skill workers, they note that around the world, demand for the most skilled and educated — from engineers to specialized factory workers — has been relatively strong. But globalization and technology have eroded demand for routine middle-skill, middle-wage jobs: In factories, assembly jobs have been eliminated by automation or moved overseas; in offices, tasks once done by humans are done by computers and voice-response software. At the same time, Massachusetts Institute of Technology economist David Autor notes an increase in personal-service jobs – the ones that can't be done remotely from overseas and can't easily be done by machines (jobs that involve assisting or caring for other people – from fast-food workers to home-health aides to nail polishers). This polarization of the job market has persisted. Between 2007 and 2010, the total number of jobs in the U.S. fell by nearly 6%, but the previous pattern held: The number of middle-skill jobs, those most susceptible to automation or offshoring, fell by 12%. The number of high-end, high-education jobs fell by 1%. But despite the recession, there was a 2% increase in personal-service jobs (Wall St. Journal, 7/4/12).

FACT: “At this point, the percentage of people over 65 in the workforce is at its highest rate since 1965, with almost 2 million older workers entering since the start of the Great Recession. There are now almost 7.7 million workers over 65, or 18.5 percent of the workforce. That's 2 million more than the teenage cohort of workers. And it's not just the younger seniors who are still punching the time clock. The number of workers over 75 has never been higher, with 7.8 percent of that age group in the workforce, nearly double the percentage from 1987, when the government starting keeping track. There are now 1.4 million people 75 and older in the workforce” (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 7/3/12).

FACT: Youngsters aren’t as interested in working today. “The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the percentage of the youngest workers, ages 16 to 19, who are working or even trying to get a job, fell to 31.8 percent in April. That's down from an annual rate of 41.3 percent in 2007, before the most recent recession. And the percentage of teens working is far off the annual rates of 51 to 57 percent that the country saw in the 1980s and 1990s” (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 7/3/12).

FACT: "Executives departures tend to peak in the spring after their employers distribute annual bonuses, recruiters say" (Wall St. Journal, 6/25/12).

FACT: "This year through June 18, there were 67 CFO changes among the 1,000 large companies tracked by executive-recruiting firm Korn/Ferry International. That translates to an annualized turnover rate of 15% — compared with 12% in each of the past two years" (Wall St. Journal, 6/25/12).

FACT: "Hiring an outsider typically is more costly than promoting from within, recruiters say. "A CFO brought in from the outside often has to be compensated for perceived risk, relocation" and other factors that don't apply to internal candidates, Egon Zehnder's Mr. Dhingra said. Companies also try to compensate "for part or all of the unvested equity or deferred compensation" that incoming CFOs may be leaving behind at their prior employer, he said" (Wall St. Journal, 6/25/12).

FACT: Percentage of men and women who say “success in a high-paying career is important” (Pew Research Center / CBS News Sunday Morning 6/17/12):

  • 66% of women
  • 59% of men

FACT: Number of stay-at-home dads (U.S Census survey / CBS News Sunday Morning 6/17/12):

  • 1994 = 76,000
  • 2011 = 176,000

FACT: "When a CEO is hired from the outside, the chances of the current CFO leaving are almost three times greater than if the CEO was hired from inside the company — usually because an outside CEO brings their own team with them" (Korn/Ferry International study; Wall St. Journal, 4/30/12).

FACT: According to a study of civil servants in England, “working 11 or more hours a day was associated with a 2.3 to 2.5-fold increased risk of having a major depressive episode compared with those who worked a standard seven- to eight-hour day. That association held true after researchers adjusted for social and demographic factors, smoking, alcohol use and job strain” (Los Angeles Times 3/12).

FACT: 40% of workers report going to work with a contagious illness, even though they have paid sick days available to them (University of Chicago study; Chicago Tribune, 3/12).

FACT: “42% of U.S. employers allowed staff to work remotely in 2008, up from 30 percent in 2007” (Worldat Work survey, Seattle Times, 3/4/12).

FACT: It’s often said that small businesses create two of every three jobs in a given year. What’s not said is that small businesses eliminate more jobs than they create each year, as well, either through layoffs, closings or bankruptcy. The small businesses that really add (and keep) workers are new, innovative businesses (companies doing something new and different). While big businesses may not add as many workers each year, they keep their employees longer (research by John Haltiwanger, a University of Maryland economist and economist Charles Kenny of the non-partisan research group New America Foundation; Associated Press, 2/16/12).

FACT: Workers at small businesses are more likely to lose their jobs, and less likely to have vacation days, retirement plans and a range of other benefits, including health care (research by Kelly Edmiston, an economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City; Associated Press, 2/16/12).

FACT: A recent worldwide survey of employee vacation policies shows U.S. employers to be the stingiest when it comes to time-off. At the top of the list are the United Kingdom and Poland, where employers are required to provide employees with a minimum of 26 or 28 paid vacation days every year. At the very bottom of the list is the United States, where the norm is to give a 10-year employee 15 days of paid vacation per year (survey of 62 countries by human-resources consulting firm Mercer; Wall St. Journal, 12/31/11).

FACT: “American workers under the age of 30 experience the highest levels of job satisfaction, according to a study by the Center on Aging and Work at Boston College. Those over 50 are also pretty happy with their jobs. The least jazzed about their daily grind? Workers between the ages of 30 and 39. More than 40% of the survey respondents, especially those over 30, were dissatisfied with their companies' efforts to provide opportunities for advancement and promotion, making it the area of greatest frustration among the 13 topics considered. On a scale of one to six, with six being the highest rating, the median job satisfaction levels of the under-30 crowd and the 50+ group came to 4.66 and 4.55, respectively. For the 30-39 group, the rate was 4.33. It was 4.44 for those aged 40-49. A total of 1,156 respondents in the U.S. completed the 30-minute online survey” (Wall St. Journal, 11/28/11).

FACT: There’s a wide gap between what government employees (state and local) are paid and what employees in the private sector make (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics study; Workforce Talent, 9/8/11):

  • Government employees’ average total compensation (wage/salary and benefits) = $40.54 per hour worked.
  • Private industry workers’ average total compensation (wage/salary and benefits) = $28.10 per hour worked.

FACT: In a 2010 survey of more than 900 global executives, 82% said they are willing to relocate to a different region, state or country (executive search firm Korn/Ferry International; Wall St. Journal, 9/2/11).

FACT: Employees “who are too nice or accommodating can be perceived less favorably by the very people they are trying to impress: their supervisors” (20-year study of more than 1,500 peoples’ careers by Christine Riordan, dean of the University of Denver Daniels College of Business; Wall St. Journal, 7/15/11).

FACT: Employees who are “too likeable and too trusting” receive lower salaries and fewer promotions (20-year study of more than 1,500 peoples’ careers by Christine Riordan, dean of the University of Denver Daniels College of Business; Wall St. Journal, 7/15/11).

FACT: Workers who have a sponsor (a senior person within the company who helps guide and cultivate emerging talent) consistently get better assignments, paid more and promoted more often (Sylvia Ann Hewlett, an economist and founding president of the Center for Work-Life Policy; Advertising Age, 6/22/11).

FACT: According to a new, four-year study of 169 newlywed couples (performed by researchers at Utrecht University in the Netherlands, and the University of California, Los Angeles; Journal of Family Psychology, 5/9/11):

  • Wives are more affected by their husband’s heavy workload — and its impact on their marriage — than husbands are.
  • When working husbands take on more responsibility at work, both husband and wife tend to be satisfied with the marriage (so long as they have no children). Once they have kids, any increase in the husband’s workload typically results in a decline in marital satisfaction for both spouses.
  • On the other hand, when working wives with children take on more responsibility at work, they tend to be happier with their marriages. [There's no mention of the affect of this on husbands.]

FACT: Some 58% of male and 57% of female professional employees say they’re dissatisfied with their jobs, while 31% of those men and 30% of the women say they’re so dissatisfied that they plan to leave their current employer. Reasons given (Accenture survey of 3,400 professional employees in 29 countries, Workforce Talent newsletter, 4/14/11):

  • Underpaid (44% of men, 47% of women).
  • Low growth opportunity (32% of men, 36% of women).
  • No advancement opportunity (34% of men, 33% of women).

FACT: Ambition declines sharply at middle age. While 92% of women and 98% of men aged 23 to 34 express a desire to advance professionally, once they reach age 45 to 54, only 64% of women and 78% of the men say the same (McKinsey & Co. 2011 survey of 2,525 college-educated men and women, including 1,525 individuals employed by large companies, mainly in management; Wall St. Journal, 4/4/11).

FACT: About 20% of full-time workers skip lunch (American Dietetic Assoication; New York Times News Service; Seattle Times, 10/17/11).

FACT: Only 11.9% of American workers belong to unions – the lowest rate in more than 70 years (New York Times News Service; Seattle Times, 3/6/11).

FACT: “A recent study by Capital Economics found that from 2002 to 2008, employment abroad by U.S. multinationals rose 22.6%, while employment at home increased by a mere 4.9%” (Time magazine, 3/1/11).

FACT: “While most corporate boards today force members to retire at 72, 19% of the biggest businesses with board age-limits now set them at 75 or older – up from 8% in 2005 and 1% in 2000” (study by recruiting firm Spencer Stuart; Wall St. Journal, 2/28/11).

FACT: Almost 16% of low-performing companies – those with low revenue growth, market share, profitability and customer satisfaction – reported that they frequently use temporary workers as managers, versus 7% of high-performing companies. More than 9% of companies say they use temporary workers in management functions to a ‘high’ or ‘very high’ extent. (Institute for Corporate Productivity Survey; Wall St. Journal, 2/28/11).

FACT: More than 17% of companies say they frequently use temporary workers in high-skill areas, like engineering and science. Some 38% of companies use temporary employees in operations positions, while 35% use them for technology functions (Institute for Corporate Productivity Survey; Wall St. Journal, 2/28/11).

FACT: “According to Bureau of Labor Statistics data, 77% of American women with school-age children work; a quarter say they sometimes work from home; a third work on the weekends” (The Daily Beast, 2/6/11).

FACT: January, June and July are the months when most employees are promoted within their organizations (an analysis by the professional networking site LinkedIn of three million intra-company job promotions listed on the site between January 1990 and December 2010). The reason, speculated Krista Canfield, a spokeswoman for LinkedIn, is that those months coincide with the corporate financial calendar (Reuters, 1/26/11).

FACT: “As more wives out-earn their husbands and outshine them at the office, many couples secretly struggle with reversed gender roles – sometimes leading to adultery or even health issues” (The Daily Beast, 12/6/10):

  • “Husbands with kids at home are 61% less likely to report that they’re “very happy” in their marriages when they work fewer hours than their wives, according to the National Marriage Project.”
  • “Men who are economically dependent on their female partners are significantly more likely to cheat.”
  • “Soon-to-be published research out of Stanford University reveals that male unemployment increases the odds of divorce.”
  • “Perhaps even more alarming, Kristen Springer, a sociologist at Rutgers University, has found that high-earning men in their 50s whose wives make more money than them suffer from more health problems.”

FACT: 709 CEOs of publicly traded companies left their jobs in the first half of 2010. In the first half of 2009, 871 CEOs left the position (Seattle Times, 1031/10).

FACT: "More than half of Americans say they think federal workers are overpaid for the work they do, and more than a third think they are less qualified than those working in the private sector. Half also say the men and women who keep the government running do not work as hard as employees at private companies" (Washington Post poll; Seattle Times, 10/18/10).

FACT: "The full-time workforce remains predominantly male, with 56 million men and 42 million women" (The Washington Post, 10/7/10).

FACT: "For CEOs, past experience doesn't necessarily lead to future success. CEOs who have previously held other CEO posts actually perform worse than people who have never been CEO." And most surprisingly of all, CEOs transitioning from within the same industry or same-sized companies did even worse. The real issue, however, may be that outsiders are worse than leaders promoted from within (study of 98 CEOs who have led S&P 500 companies in 2005; professor Monika Hamori of IE Business School in Madrid and Burak Koyuncu of Rouen Business School in Rouen, France; Wall Street Journal, 10/4/10).

  • Repeat CEOs earned a median annual average return on assets of 3.92% in the first three years of the CEO's tenure.
  • CEOs transitioning from another company in the same industry saw a median return on assets of 3.1%.
  • CEOs transitioning from a similar-sized company had a median return of 2.94%.
  • Companies with a CEO who hadn't been a chief executive before saw a 5.4% return.
  • The second-time CEOs were generally coming from outside the company, the first-time CEOs were a mix of insiders and outsiders.

FACT: In 2010, the average U.S. employee (both wage and salary workers combined) had been with the same employer for 4.4 years; in 2008, the average was 4.1 years (Bureau of Labor Statistics report; Workforce Management) 9/14/10):

  • Workers in manufacturing have an average tenure of 6.1 years.
  • Workers in the leisure and hospitality industry have an average tenure of 2.5 years.
  • Workers age 55 to 64 have a median tenure of 10 years.
  • Workers age 25 to 34 have a median tenure of 3.1 years.

FACT: Temporary workers make up less than 2% of the U.S. workforce (Bureau of Labor statistics; Bloomberg Markets, 9/10).

FACT: Some 35% of employed people work on weekends, doing tasks required for their job, regardless of whether it was part of their usual work schedule or arrangement. They work an average of five hours over the weekend (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2009 American Time Use Survey, 6/22/10).

FACT: Some 24% of employed people do some or all of their work at home, while 84% do some or all of their work at the workplace (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2009 American Time Use Survey 6/22/10).

FACT: In 2008, approximately 1% of American workers voluntarily quit their jobs every month. In 2009 (during the recession), that figure dropped to 0.5% (Bureau of National Affairs, Wall St. Journal, 5/25/10).

FACT: What 1,273 members of the technical job-search site Dice.com said when asked, "what could persuade you to stay in your job if you found another opportunity?" (Wall St. Journal, 5/25/10):

  • Nothing (57% of respondents)
  • A higher salary (42% of respondents)
  • A promotion (11% of respondents)

FACT: Percentage of HR leaders who say this is the most important characteristic for exceptional performance (Right Management survey of 895 senior leaders and HR professionals, Workforce Recruiting newsletter, 5/27/10):

  • Good match with the organizational culture (31%)
  • Good interpersonal skills (26%)
  • Good reasoning / judgment (21%)
  • Good technical skills (12%)
  • Relevant experience (11%)

FACT: More than 50 percent of the 1,627 employed business executives surveyed said they’re “actively looking for a new job now.” For CEOs leading a non-profit, that number jumps to 65%. “And more than 40 percent of these respondents report they will launch or ramp up their job search activities once the economy improves” (“2009 Executive Retention Report,” ExecuNet).

FACT: Who CEOs say is their most important direct report / subordinate (“2009 Executive Retention Report,” a survey of 1,627 employed business executives from ExecuNet):

  • Top sales executive = 39%
  • Other (including business development head) = 26%
  • COO = 14%
  • Top marketing executive = 13%
  • CFO = 8%

FACT: The percentage of business executives who report they’re actively looking for a new job now (“2009 Executive Retention Report,” a survey of 1,627 employed business executives from ExecuNet):

  • CEOs / presidents = 51%
  • CxOs / EVPs / VPs = 56%
  • Directors / managers = 58%

FACT: The percentage of employed business leaders “who would accept or strongly consider a better career opportunity in the next 30 days” (“2009 Executive Retention Report,” a survey of 1,627 employed business executives from ExecuNet):

  • CEOs = 88%
  • Cxo / VP = 87%
  • Director / Manager = 89%

FACT: C-level executives who report being “satisfied to very satisfied in their current leadership role” (“2009 Executive Retention Report,” a survey of 1,627 employed business executives from ExecuNet):

  • Chief executives = 63%
  • C-level officers = 52%
  • Vice presidents = 41%
  • Director-level business leaders = 44%

FACT: 39% of workers say they chose temporary work because they couldn't find a permanent / regular job. Some 3% say they chose a temporary job to learn new skills (Workforce Recruiting newsletter, 11/12/09; Bureau of Labor Statistics).

FACT: 10.4 million people are self-employed in the U.S. (Seattle, Times, 9/10/09).

FACT: "More than half of people who return to work after career breaks land jobs at smaller companies than those they left, and often form their own businesses. Some 61% changed industries, and 54% take on new workplace roles" (2005 study by the Wharton Center for Leadership and Change; Wall St. Journal, 9/30/09).

FACT: In 2008, 51.4% of married household had both spouses working (U.S. Department of Labor; Wall St. Journal, 9/22/09).

FACT: In the most comprehensive occupational-happiness study ever (a Gallup-Healthways poll of 100,826 working adults; Wall St. Journal, 9/16/09), employed people were asked to rank their lives based on six factors (emotional, physical and health, job satisfaction, healthy behavior, access to basic needs and self-reports of overall life quality). Those occupations with higher scores were found to be the most satisfying:

  • Business owner = 72.5
  • Professional = 71.5
  • Manager/Executive = 70.9
  • Farming/Forestry = 67.8
  • Sales = 67.6
  • Clerical = 66.1
  • Construction = 65.0
  • Installation = 64.4
  • Service = 64.0
  • Transportation = 62.6
  • Manufacturing = 62.1

FACT: "About 60% of both men and women under age 29 say they desire more responsibility on the job. That compares with a marked difference among these groups as recently as 2002, when only 48% of young working mothers, compared with 66% of men and 61% of young women without children, said they wanted to climb the career ladder" (study of about 3,500 wage, salaried and self-employed workers and small-business owners by the nonprofit Families and Work Institute; Wall St. Journal, 3/26/09).

FACT: "Females in dual-earner couples now provide an average 44% of household income, up from 39% in 1997. And husbands are taking on more workload at home; 31% of women say their spouses do half or most of the child care, up from 21% in 1992" (study of about 3,500 wage, salaried and self-employed workers and small-business owners by the nonprofit Families and Work Institute; Wall St. Journal, 3/26/09).

FACT: College towns typically have lower levels of unemployment. "Of the six metropolitan areas in the U.S. with very low unemployment (below 4%) during the 2008/2009 recession, three of them are considered college towns" (based on Labor Department figures; Wall St. Journal, 3/24/09).

FACT: "So-called independent workers (interim positions or consulting projects) now comprise more than 30% of the American work force" (survey by U.S. Government Accountability Office; Wall St. Journal, 3/19/09).

FACT: "The service sector accounts for around 85% of jobs and includes everyone from lawyers to massage therapists. During economic downturns, service-related jobs tend to hold up, because consumers and businesses tend to be inclined to cut bigger purchases, such as autos or real estate, but generally keep paying for other expenses like haircuts or computer maintenance" (Wall St. Journal, 2/7/09).

FACT: Sixty-one companies in the Standard & Poor's 500-stock index changed CEOs during 2008, up from 56 a year earlier (survey by executive search firm Spencer Stuart; Wall St. Journal, 2/3/09).

FACT: In 2008, more than 1,400 chief executives lost, or left, their jobs — that's up from 1,356 in 2007 (Challenger, Gray & Christmas study; Forbes magazine, 2/2/09).

FACT: "In the past three decades, small businesses — those with fewer than 500 employees — have created 60% to 80% of the nations' net new jobs each year" (small business administration statistics; Wall St. Journal, 12/26/08).

FACT: "More than half of Americans are employed by a small business. And those companies are responsible for more than half of the nation's non-farm private gross domestic product" (small business administration statistics; Wall St. Journal, 12/26/08).

FACT: More than a half-million small businesses close each year (small business administration statistics; Wall St. Journal, 12/26/08).

FACT: 60% of new businesses survive at least two years, while just 31% survive at least seven years (Wall St. Journal, 12/26/08).

FACT: Small businesses hire 40% of high-tech workers — such as scientists, engineers and computer workers (Wall St. Journal, 12/26/08).

FACT: The accounting, information technology, actuarial-science and health-care fields are expected to grow faster than the 7% to 13% average rate for all occupations by 2016 (Labor Department report; Wall St. Journal, 12/23/08).

FACT: Some studies suggest that just 10% to 40% of employee training is ever used on the job (Wall St. Journal, 12/14/08).

FACT: "Senior-level employees with an average tenure of 7˝ years are responsible for 25% of all reported internal frauds. Overall, 85% of fraudsters are male, 44% are between the ages of 31 and 40, 38% possess at least a bachelor's degree, and 12% typically hold a postgraduate degree or higher" (2007 study from Pricewaterhouse; Wall St. Journal, 12/11/08).

FACT: "Nationally, only about 10% of the U.S. workforce is currently employed in manufacturing. That's down from a peak of about 42% in the early 1940s, and about 18% in the 1980s" (Wall St. Journal, 7/08).

FACT: "Each year, more people start a business than get married or have children. And as much as 40% of the population will be self-employed for some part of their work life" (book: the Illusions of Entrepreneurship, as reviewed in Wall St. Journal, 1/30/08).

FACT: "On average, new businesses are less productive than existing ones. Moreover, the average self-employed person earns significantly less than the average person who works for someone else" (book: the Illusions of Entrepreneurship, as reviewed in Wall St. Journal, 1/30/08).

FACT: "Overall, in the United States and the five largest European countries, people are mostly satisfied with their jobs. At least 60% of each country's workers say they are satisfied, with Italy having the lowest satisfaction numbers (67%) and Spain having the highest (83%)" (International Herald Tribune/France 24/Harris Interactive survey; Business Wire, 10/9/07).

FACT: "63% of U.S. workers say they are well-paid. Just 52% of British workers, 51% of German workers and 50% of Spanish employees say they are well-paid. Meanwhile, 54% of workers in France and 50% of Italian workers say they are badly paid. In fact, 20% of Italian workers believe they are very badly paid" (International Herald Tribune/France 24/Harris Interactive survey; Business Wire, 10/9/07).

FACT: "23% of Italian workers say they dislike their current boss. On the flip side, 65% of U.S. workers like their current boss, with 46% saying they like their boss very much. Majorities in Great Britain (56%) and France (52%) also like their boss and just under half of Italian workers (48%) and German workers (47%) feel the same. Spanish workers are a bit more mixed. One-third like their boss (34%) and 16% dislike their current boss, while 38% of Spanish workers neither like nor dislike their boss" (International Herald Tribune/France 24/Harris Interactive survey; Business Wire, 10/9/07).

FACT: "In their current jobs, the top two most important aspects are the interesting nature and the salary. In Great Britain, France, Italy and Germany, the interesting nature of the job comes ahead of salary for importance. For Spanish and American workers, however, salary is more important than the interesting nature of their jobs. The working hours are third for each of the countries in importance" (International Herald Tribune/France 24/Harris Interactive survey; Business Wire, 10/9/07)

FACT: "The average tenure for CEOs at the top 10 consumer-branded companies is 54 months. By contrast, chief marketing officers hang on to their jobs for an average of 23 months" (Fast Company magazine, 5/07).

FACT: "The employee turnover rate for the fast-food industry is 300% annually — which means every year, all employees need to be replaced three times" (Fast Company magazine 5/07).

FACT: "At 1,000 large companies, annual turnover of executives listed in proxy statements between 2002 and 2004 was 17%. When a new CEO was promoted from within, executive turnover rose to 22%. When a new CEO was hired from outside, executive turnover rose to 33%. "Involuntary turnover" was 7.5% typically. When a CEO was promoted from within, involuntary turnover increased to 12.5%. When new CEO from outside, involuntary turnover increased to 26%." (Wall St. Journal study, 4/24/07.)

FACT: "Only 30% of family businesses survive under family control for two generations, and only 12% to a third generation" (Mark Green, Oregon State University of Business professor; Seattle Times, 5/2106).

FACT: The average age of the American worker is 40. The average age of the American federal employee is 47 (Oregonian, 12/23/06).

FACT: "Only 40% of employees commend their companies for retaining high-quality workers. Just 41% agree that performance evaluations are fair. Only 58% rate their job training as favorable" (2005 Hay Group survey; just FAST Company magazine, 8/05).

 

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To see more employment facts, visit the main Crown Resume Facts page.