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The happiest workers in America aren’t salaried or hourly employees. And they’re certainly not working for tips.
They are self-employed folks and freelancers, according to a recent survey. In other words, the happiest workers are those who get to be their own boss.
Don’t take our word for it: Last year, more than 1,000 workers in the U.S. about what makes them happiest about their employment situation. Happiness was measured on a scale from 1 (“very unhappy”) to 7 (“very happy).
The self-employed — like business owners or freelancers, who often work short-term gigs or do projects for multiple clients — scored highest. Folks who earn a base pay and work for tips on top of it — most of whom work in the food services industry — scored lowest. Specifically, the survey found:
- Self-employed workers have an average happiness rating of 5.4 out of 7
- Freelancers — 5.3
- Salaried workers — 5
- Hourly workers — 4.7
- Base-pay- tips workers — 4.3
What makes workers most unhappy? It varies somewhat based on wage structure. The survey found that in each group, one factor made workers most unhappy:
- Self-employed workers — job stress
- Freelancers — job stress
- Salaried workers — pay rate
- Hourly workers — job stress
- Base-pay--tips workers — pay rate and co-workers (tie)
Ways to earn more income and stay happy
If you want to freelance — or simply to pick up extra income — the opportunities are virtually limitless. If you’re not sure what that means or how to go about it, consider these options:
- “11 Keys to a Successful Freelance Career“
- “19 Unusual Ways to Earn Extra Cash“
- “50 Ways to Make a Fast $50 (or Lots More!)“
If you simply want flexibility — rather than being your own boss — try to land a work-from-home job. We’ve got some great options in our story “13 High-Paying Jobs You Can Do From Home.”
What’s your take on worker happiness? Let us know below or on .