Tuesday, October 10, 2006

The Joys of Government

Forget the stereotype of grumpy government workers -- they are happier than the corporate types, a new survey shows.

Some 77 percent of government workers say they're happy at work, compared with 70 percent of those who work in private enterprise, according to the monthly Hudson Employment Index. Hudson's pollster surveys 9,000 workers, including 1,800 in government.

Federal and municipal workers' job satisfaction is nearing an all-time high, set in December at almost 78 percent, while corporate workers' happiness is falling, Hudson reported.

In January 2004, government and private workers were even on the job-satisfaction question, with both groups at about two-thirds happy.

In the Washington area, more than three-quarters of workers say they're happy. Yet workers here also reported more concerns about personal finances and the future of their jobs, mirroring a nationwide trend, Hudson said.

So what makes government workers happier? It could be more hiring by their organizations. Or perhaps they face fewer headaches than anyone at Hewlett-Packard or General Motors.

-- Vickie Elmer

© 2006 The Washington Post Company