Raw Data: Teachers Are Satisfied With Their Jobs
In fact, Drum uses data from the long-running General Social Survey (GSS) to show that American workers are about as happy as they’ve ever been. The GSS is a high-quality survey that’s been asking Americans the same questions for 50 years. So I wondered if we could use that data to look specifically at teachers.
It turns out you can. The GSS Data Explorer let me pull the same data that Drum used, but it also let me slice it by occupation. The graph below shows the results. It compares the job satisfaction rate for American workers overall (in light gray) versus the percentage of teachers who say they are “very” or “moderately” satisfied with their work (in red).
As the chart shows, teachers are pretty satisfied! As of the latest data from 2022, 92% of teachers said they were satisfied with their work, slightly surpassing the 87% rate for workers overall.
Now, take this with a grain of salt. The GSS has a total sample size of about 3,000 American adults, and teachers are only a small fraction of that total. While the GSS sample is representative of Americans overall, it’s possible the teacher slice is somehow unrepresentative of teachers nationwide.
Still, this is a high-quality data source telling us that teachers are reasonably satisfied with their work, teachers have similar job satisfaction as other workers, and these numbers have been pretty consistent over time.
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