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Low pay, commute top reasons for stress in worker survey

Small paychecks and long commutes are delivering a one-two punch to American workers, as eight in 10 employed adults in a survey say they are stressed out on the job. That’s according to data released in the 2014 Work Stress Survey conducted by Nielsen (formerly Harris Interactive) on behalf of Everest College.

The telephone survey of 1,004 employed adults found that 80 percent of Americans are stressed by at least one thing at work, showing negligible improvement over 2013 (83 percent). The survey was conducted to coincide with April’s Stress Awareness Month, when health care professionals across the country join forces to increase public awareness about the causes and cures for the modern stress epidemic.

For the fourth consecutive year, paltry paychecks were a top stressor, with 13 percent of adults ranking low wages as the most stressful aspect of work. Low pay shared the top spot with Americans’ commute to and from work, which jumped to 13 percent from 11 percent in 2012 and 9 percent in 2011, respectively. Unreasonable workload (12 percent) finished third as the one thing that stresses Americans the most at work, followed by annoying coworkers (10 percent), poor work-life balance (8 percent), working in a job that is not a chosen career (6 percent), lack of opportunity for advancement (5 percent), the boss (5 percent), and fear of being fired or laid off (4 percent).

“When it comes to stress at the workplace, low pay and a long commute is a double whammy for American workers, especially for those who are experiencing both at the same time,” said Wendy Cullen, vice president of employer development for Everest College.

 When determining workplace stress, levels of income and education play a significant role in determining the top stressors, according to the survey. Low pay is most often cited among those with household incomes of under $50,000 and those with less than college educations. The highest earners and those with at least college educations, however, are more likely to cite unreasonable workload and poor work-life balance

 
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