Private sector workers more satisfied than federal employees, finds OPM

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While workers in the private sector and the federal government both find personal accomplishment in their work, those in the private sector are typically more satisfied with their jobs and organizations, finds the Office of Personnel Management's 2012 survey of federal employees.

The survey shows that both groups like the kind of work they do--86 percent of private sector workers and 84 percent of federal employees--but private sector workers are 11 percent more likely to be satisfied with their organization--70 percent and 59 percent respectively.

In its list of satisfaction comparisons, OPM finds no areas where federal workers expressed more job satisfaction than their private sector counterparts.

The largest disparity between the two groups is in their satisfaction with the information received from management about what's going on in the organization, with 65 percent of private sector employees saying they are satisfied compared to just 48 percent of federal workers.

Private sector workers are also more likely to be satisfied with their potential for advancement and the chance to try new things. Half of private sector workers are satisfied with opportunities to get a better job in their organization, compared to 36 percent of federal workers, and 71 percent of private employees say they feel encouraged to try new things, besting the 58 percent of federal workers.

The two groups do have similar viewpoints on the opportunities they have to improve skills, 63 percent for federal workers and 65 percent for private sector employees. Federal and private sector workers also find similar levels of personal accomplishment in their work, 72 percent and 77 percent, respectively.

For more:
- visit the 2012 Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey site
- go to the federal employee and private sector comparison webpage

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