So what is the deal on our attitudes toward work? Work is a wonderful blessing? A necessary evil? Why all the ambiguity?
Most of us assume it’s a good thing to have a job. After topping 9% most of 2009-11, unemployment has dropped to 6.2% as of this month. That’s good, right?”
But “according to Gallup’s State of the American Workplace: 2010-2012 report, employee engagement levels remain stagnant among U.S. workers. By the end of 2012, as the U.S. inched toward a modest economic recovery, only 30% of American workers were engaged, or involved in, enthusiastic about, and committed to their workplace.” (Gallup Business Journal, June 11, 2013.)
So jobs are a good thing – just not 70% of them – or 70% of us are mismatched in some way.
Not everyone is sold on joining the workforce in the first place. Katie Morison of MSN News points out, “For those on welfare and other aid from the government in many U.S. states, getting back into the work force doesn’t always make much sense financially. In fact, welfare and other government benefits pay more than a minimum-wage job in 35 states and in 13 states, the payout is more than $15 an hour, according to a new study from libertarian think tank The Cato Institute. The study found that the assistance — defined in the study as including government benefits such as food stamps, housing assistance and other programs — pays more than a first-year teacher’s salary in 11 states, the starting salary for a secretary in 39 states and an entry-level job as a computer programmer in three states.”
So if you can make more money not working than working, isn’t not working a smart decision or should we work for work’s sake?