For many Americans, job satisfaction is a myth.
A survey conducted in 2019 found that less than half of American workers across the United States feel that they have good jobs. The rest are not satisfied with 10 aspects of their work, including factors that are unrelated to pay. Those who work for large organizations like their jobs because they have the opportunity to be creative, learn and improve their skills, and feel encouraged to do their best.
However, one does not have to work at Google or Apple to be perfectly happy with what they do for a living.
Construction Workers Have High Job Satisfaction Rate
The industry faces a serious labor shortage as companies struggle to fill open employment opportunities. A recent report by the Residential Construction Council of Ontario revealed that nearly two-thirds of laborers in the industry are satisfied with their current jobs. They rated their job satisfaction between 8 and 10 on a 1 to 10 scale (with 10 being the happiest). Two-thirds of the respondents also said they would recommend their line of work to young trades workers.
The survey above is not the first to reveal that construction workers are happy with what they do despite the stigma associated with their job. An older report revealed that job satisfaction among construction workers rose 10 percent a year per year as more employers received high ratings.
Reasons Behind Labor Shortage
In July 2021, as industries reopened and returned to normal, 4 million Americans resigned from their work. Whereas in 2020, millions of Americans were laid off because of pandemic lockdowns, people are leaving their work this year, and employers are struggling to fill open positions.
There are multiple possible reasons why people are leaving their jobs. Perhaps many of those who resigned this year have been planning to transition to another line of work but have been derailed by the pandemic. Many have finally experienced burnout after months of high workloads. The return to the office after over a year of working from home is also an important factor that influenced the decision of some to resign.
However, the labor shortage in the construction industry is driven by different factors. It has been happening for a long time, even before COVID-19. It started during the Great Recession when the housing market experienced a bubble that eventually popped. When construction slowed, many workers shifted to other trades and never looked back.
In addition, there is waning interest in working in construction, and those who currently work in the industry are nearing their retirement age.
Reasons Why Construction Workers Love Their Job
However, the high job satisfaction could convince people to shift to a career in construction. There are plenty of opportunities right now for anyone who wants to enter the industry, whether as a plumber, electrician, engineer, project manager, or construction equipment supplier.
A recent survey looked deeper into job satisfaction within the construction industry. It found that construction work provides workers a sense of meaning and value in what they do. Meanwhile, the rest of the workforce sees lower employee engagement and higher daily stress.
Moreover, according to the data from U.S. News, laborers in construction enjoy chances for upward mobility. Those who work in construction can gain pay raises and promotions through hard work and dedication.
In addition, the competitiveness of the present market guarantees that workers will be given higher pay rates and other work-related benefits.
That is not to say the industry is perfect. People in construction also experience high stress levels and face life-threatening hazards at work. COVID-19 exacerbated mental health problems among workers and highlighted the risks they must take to continue working. While the rest of the country sent workers home, those in construction were declared to be essential and had to continue working on-site throughout the pandemic.
Worse, despite their struggles, workers are less likely to speak to their employees about mental health. It is an industry dominated by men, and there is still a stigma associated with mental health problems. This is dangerous because people are forced to look for alternative and often unhealthy ways of coping. Some turn to suicide.
There is a high job satisfaction rate in the construction industry. They feel higher contentment with what they do compared to the rest of the American workforce across all industries. Those who work in construction find value in their career, and there are plenty of opportunities for career advancement. However, workers still experience high levels of stress because of the workload and lack of opportunities to discuss mental health.