Compensation alone does not define how workable a city is, but it contributes greatly to employee happiness which is a key factor in a city’s workability.
Online career site, Career Bliss, recently released its list of the happiest and unhappiest cities to work in the USA.In the“Best and Worst Cities to Find a Job” report, the career market used three factors to determine the cities with the most viable markets, namely, current job availability, unemployment trends, and overall employee happiness. While compensation alone does not define a city’s workability, employee happiness does.And one vital factor that determines if employees are happy is whether or not they are getting the right compensation at work.
In the list, Los Angeles, CA was named the Best City to Work, followed by Tucson, AZ and Dayton, OH. The list is based on analysis of more than 36,000 independent employee reviews between November 2011 and November 2012. CareerBliss looked into “10 key factors that impact a happy work environment,” including compensation.
A study in Neuman University titled The Importance of Employee Satisfaction sited “those employees who do work well to support the company may not be compensated for their efforts” as a source of dissatisfaction. It also stressed that for companies to keep their employees happy, proper compensation must be given.
Another study in University of Lagos, Nigeria based on a survey on librarian employees revealed that there is a relationship between employee compensation and job satisfaction, with 66.75% of the participants affirming that they are satisfied with the salary they receive.
Late last year, Forbes did an article titled “Can Money Buy Your Career Happiness?” In the report, Bradley Brummel, Ph.D. answered the question with “Yes, to some degree…we see that happiness is highest at an income level of about $400,000 to $450,000 a year… It is important to understand higher income appears to correspond to increases in almost all other things that make a happy job.”
So does this mean that workers in cities not named as Best City to Find a Job, such as Colorado’s Boulder City, are not getting satisfactory compensation?
It is possible. In Career Bliss’ survey, Colorado didn’t only fail to make it on the workable cities list, but Boulder City topped the list of worst cities to find work. It was later on found that Boulder workers’ top two cause for dissatisfaction are growth opportunities and compensation, which scored a 2.81 and 3.29 in a five-point scale, respectively.
Colorado workers have reasons to be dissatisfied, being a state where minimum wage is tied to inflation. Unlike most states that tie the wage to inflation but make no provision for lowering the amount, the minimum wage in Colorado also drops if the cost of living falls. In 2009, Colorado was the first state to drop its minimum wage rate because of deflation.
Non-minimum wage workers aren’t safe from having their compensation decreased either, as companies and institutions resort to pay cut through the years. Jefferson County School for example, the largest school district in Colorado, laid off employees and cut back on workers’ salaries as part of $40 million in cuts in 2011.
Even Colorado’s minimum wage is still well below the level needed to ensure that full-time work provides a way out of poverty. If workers have a hard time putting food on the table with their compensation, how can they be happy with their jobs? And when workers are not satisfied, their city is far from being workable.
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