I mentioned recently that workers remain unusually reluctant to quit their jobs. A new report from the Conference Board confirms that blissful contentment with their work isn’t the reason.

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Fewer than half of U.S. workers are satisfied with their jobs, based on a set of survey questions about Americans’ opinions about their workplaces, compensation, job security, co-workers, bosses, chances for promotion, etc. The share is much lower than it was in 1987, when the series began.

Interestingly, dissatisfaction among the youngest workers seems to be driving the trend; just 28 percent of employed workers younger than 25 were satisfied with their jobs in 2013, versus about twice that share in 1987:


Much of the deterioration in job satisfaction among younguns seems to have occurred in the wake of the Great Recession. Which I suppose isn’t terribly surprising, given that lots of young workers (particularly recent college grads) are in jobs that they’re probably overskilled for. Plus, with an unemployment rate still above 11 percent, even those who have been lucky enough to find work probably feel pretty trapped.

I’m sure it’s tempting to blame terrible, sloppy stereotypes about millennial entitlement for these trends. But my own age group — 25-to-34-year-olds — also counts as millennials, and we’re the only group slightly happier at work today than our similarly aged counterparts were pre-recession.