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How’s life? Report studies satisfaction (Hint: Having a job helps)

October 13, 2011 |  8:00 am

Having a job is integral to the average person’s well-being, but factors such as housing, health, education and environment also play a major role, according to a sprawling new report.

The Paris-based Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development looked into 11 aspects of life across 40 countries and found that –- surprise, surprise -– working is a major factor in making people happy.

On top of earning an income, going to the office also helps individuals shape their personal identity and hone social relationships, the study found.

Among the other findings: Long-term unemployment rates hover near zero in Korea, Mexico and Norway but are triple the global average in Estonia, the Slovak Republic and Spain.

Chileans and Poles hold the most temporary contracts; residents of Luxembourg and the United States have the highest average gross annual earnings.

Fear of losing a job strikes hardest among Czechs and Hungarians. South Africans are stuck in some of the longest daily commutes.

And on a graph charting the percentage of people who said they felt more positive emotions than negative ones in a typical day, Denmark seemed happiest, while Turkey was at the bottom. Americans clocked in around the middle.


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-- Tiffany Hsu

Photo: Businessmen with briefcases walk through the financial district in London. Credit: Chris Ratcliffe / Bloomberg