Lower Job Satisfaction among Japanese

From ISSP Survey on Work Orientations

June 2009

The NHK Broadcasting Culture Research Institute is a member of the International Social Survey Programme, or ISSP, an organization conducting international comparison studies. The author reports the results of the ISSP survey series on work orientations conducted from 2005 through 2007. Differences in employment situations and people’s attitudes towards their jobs were analyzed based on data taken in 32 countries/regions in Europe, Asia, Africa and Oceania.

The percentage of respondents aged 18 to 64 with jobs was 78% in Japan. While Norway, Denmark and Canada had more than 80%, South Africa had an outstandingly low percentage, 30%, showing a huge gap between areas. Weekly working hours was 43 hours in Japan, revealing that Japan can be characterized by higher employment rate and longer working hours, compared to other countries/regions.

Respondents who have jobs were asked about their job satisfaction. Japan’s job satisfaction rate was 78%, but this figure was relatively low among the 32 countries/regions. They were also asked to rate their jobs from eight viewpoints including “My job is secure,” “My income is high,” and “My job is interesting.” Switzerland, the United States, and Ireland had relatively high ratings while Japan and the Republic of Korea are among the group with lowest ratings.

What is affecting job satisfaction was also analyzed. Countries/regions with higher percentages of people feeling they were able to improve their skills through work or they have become more interested in their jobs and/or of people thinking their job relations is good tend to have higher job satisfaction. Meanwhile, countries/regions with higher percentage of people who feel stress from work on daily basis had lower job satisfaction.

The NHK Monthly Report on Broadcast Research