Home > 2014 > Personal Finance

The Cities With the Unhappiest Workers

Advertiser Disclosure Comments 0 Comments

Of the 50 largest U.S. metro areas, Pittsburgh has the least satisfied workers, according to the 2014 Employment Satisfaction Report from career site Glassdoor. The low ranking stemmed from Pittsburghers’ feeling the city has few career opportunities. Workers there aren’t particularly optimistic about business growth, either: 45% said they think it’ll stay about the same year over year, which makes it one of the most stagnant metropolitan statistical areas on the list (MSAs are determined by the U.S. Census Bureau).

The report is based solely on employee sentiment — it doesn’t matter how many opportunities there are to start a career or build a business in Pittsburgh, it’s about how its workers perceive the work environment in the city. It’s not like Pittsburgh is a distant last place, either. In the survey, employees were asked to rank their satisfaction in various aspects of their jobs using a five-point scale, with 1 as the lowest level of satisfaction, 3 as “just OK,” and 5 as “very satisfied.”

Pittsburghers had a 3.1 average on the scale, but so did nine other cities. Rankings were determined by the thousandth decimal point. On the high end, San Jose, Calif., took the title of most satisfied workers with a 3.5-point average. San Francisco was No. 2 at 3.4, and it’s a good thing those Bay Area employees are happy, because they deal with the highest rents in the nation. One would hope the jobs are worth the cost of living.

10 Cities With the Least Satisfied Workers

There isn’t a common thread among metro areas with a low employee-satisfaction rating — they include cities in several geographical areas, and populations vary widely. All had a 3.1-point average satisfaction rating. The prevalence of unemployment in the area seemed to have no bearing on workers’ perceptions, either, as San Jose and Pittsburgh both had an unemployment rate of 5.3% in May 2014 (lower than the national average), according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Here are the 10 metro areas with the least-satisfied workers:

10. Milwaukee
9. Charlotte, N.C.
8. Riverside, Calif.
7. Portland, Ore.
6. Buffalo, N.Y.
5. Phoenix
4. Tampa, Fla.
3. Las Vegas
2. Denver
1. Pittsburgh

The rankings are based on local employee feedback to Glassdoor during the past 12 months.

Sometimes, a low level of satisfaction means it’s time for a job or career change, and while making a big shift like that may be your best choice in the long run, you need to plan for short-term challenges, many of which may fall in the financial realm.

Having debt can also have a huge bearing on your feeling toward work. Perhaps you’re not too happy with your current job situation, but you feel you can’t make a change because you have to meet your debt obligations. You may not be stuck — it won’t be easy, but you can keep your debt from holding you back by taking charge of your financial situation and making a plan to move forward.

Start by reviewing your free annual credit reports and your credit scores so you know where you stand and what you have to improve (you get free access to your credit data through Credit.com). Consider loan consolidation, aggressively tackling your student loans or settling collections accounts so you can stop feeling hung up on debt and start embracing career flexibility.

More on Managing Debt:

Image: iStock

Comments on articles and responses to those comments are not provided or commissioned by a bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by a bank advertiser. It is not a bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

Please note that our comments are moderated, so it may take a little time before you see them on the page. Thanks for your patience.

Certain credit cards and other financial products mentioned in this and other articles on Credit.com News & Advice may also be offered through Credit.com product pages, and Credit.com will be compensated if our users apply for and ultimately sign up for any of these cards or products. However, this relationship does not result in any preferential editorial treatment.

Hello, Reader!

Thanks for checking out Credit.com. We hope you find the site and the journalism we produce useful. We wanted to take some time to tell you a bit about ourselves.

Our People

The Credit.com editorial team is staffed by a team of editors and reporters, each with many years of financial reporting experience. We’ve worked for places like the New York Times, American Banker, Frontline, TheStreet.com, Business Insider, ABC News, NBC News, CNBC and many others. We also employ a few freelancers and more than 50 contributors (these are typically subject matter experts from the worlds of finance, academia, politics, business and elsewhere).

Our Reporting

We take great pains to ensure that the articles, video and graphics you see on Credit.com are thoroughly reported and fact-checked. Each story is read by two separate editors, and we adhere to the highest editorial standards. We’re not perfect, however, and if you see something that you think is wrong, please email us at editorial team [at] credit [dot] com,

The Credit.com editorial team is committed to providing our readers and viewers with sound, well-reported and understandable information designed to inform and empower. We won’t tell you what to do. We will, however, do our best to explain the consequences of various actions, thereby arming you with the information you need to make decisions that are in your best interests. We also write about things relating to money and finance we think are interesting and want to share.

In addition to appearing on Credit.com, our articles are syndicated to dozens of other news sites. We have more than 100 partners, including MSN, ABC News, CBS News, Yahoo, Marketwatch, Scripps, Money Magazine and many others. This network operates similarly to the Associated Press or Reuters, except we focus almost exclusively on issues relating to personal finance. These are not advertorial or paid placements, rather we provide these articles to our partners in most cases for free. These relationships create more awareness of Credit.com in general and they result in more traffic to us as well.

Our Business Model

Credit.com’s journalism is largely supported by an e-commerce business model. Rather than rely on revenue from display ad impressions, Credit.com maintains a financial marketplace separate from its editorial pages. When someone navigates to those pages, and applies for a credit card, for example, Credit.com will get paid what is essentially a finder’s fee if that person ends up getting the card. That doesn’t mean, however, that our editorial decisions are informed by the products available in our marketplace. The editorial team chooses what to write about and how to write about it independently of the decisions and priorities of the business side of the company. In fact, we maintain a strict and important firewall between the editorial and business departments. Our mission as journalists is to serve the reader, not the advertiser. In that sense, we are no different from any other news organization that is supported by ad revenue.

Visitors to Credit.com are also able to register for a free Credit.com account, which gives them access to a tool called The Credit Report Card. This tool provides users with two free credit scores and a breakdown of the information in their Experian credit report, updated twice monthly. Again, this tool is entirely free, and we mention that frequently in our articles, because we think that it’s a good thing for users to have access to data like this. Separate from its educational value, there is also a business angle to the Credit Report Card. Registered users can be matched with products and services for which they are most likely to qualify. In other words, if you register and you find that your credit is less than stellar, Credit.com won’t recommend a high-end platinum credit card that requires an excellent credit score You’d likely get rejected, and that’s no good for you or Credit.com. You’d be no closer to getting a product you need, there’d be a wasted inquiry on your credit report, and Credit.com wouldn’t get paid. These are essentially what are commonly referred to as "targeted ads" in the world of the Internet. Despite all of this, however, even if you never apply for any product, the Credit Report Card will remain free, and none of this will impact how the editorial team reports on credit and credit scores.

Our Owners

Credit.com is owned by Progrexion Holdings Inc. which is the owner and administrator of a number of business related to credit and credit repair, including CreditRepair.com, and eFolks. In addition, Progrexion also provides services to Lexington Law Firm as a third party provider. Despite being owned by Progrexion, it is not the role of the Credit.com editorial team to advocate the use of the company’s other services. In articles, reporters may mention credit repair as an option, for example, but we’ll also be sure to note the various alternatives to that service. Furthermore, you may see ads for credit repair services on Credit.com, but the editorial team isn’t responsible for the creation or implementation of those ads, anymore than reporters for the New York Times or Washington Post are responsible for the ads on their sites.

Your Stories

Lastly, much of what we do is informed by our own experiences as well as the experiences of our readers. We want to tell your stories if you’re interested in sharing them. Please email us at story ideas [at] credit [dot] com with ideas or visit us on Facebook or Twitter.

Thanks for stopping by.

- The Credit.com Editorial Team