Job Satisfaction

Job Satisfaction


Young Women Job Satisfaction Variables

Global Job Satisfaction: During all surveys except 1975 and 1977, respondents rated how they felt about their current/last job (all jobs in 1995-2003) on a scale from "like it very much" to "dislike it very much." In most of these years, respondents also listed specific factors about their jobs that they liked and disliked. In addition, data comparing respondents' attitudes toward their current jobs with their attitudes toward their jobs in a previous survey year were collected during certain early years of the survey. In 1970, 1972, 1978, 1980, and 1988, respondents answered a question intended to capture their commitment to working. Respondents stated whether they would continue to work if they had enough money to live comfortably without working; in all years except 1988, they also gave a reason for their response. Finally, the 1968 original survey asked respondents about their motivation to work (R00321.00). Table YW1 provides reference numbers for regularly asked job satisfaction items.

Table YW1.  Reference Numbers of Job Satisfaction Questions by Survey Year

Survey Year Attitude toward current job, current / last job, or all jobs1 Attitude toward current job compared to job in a previous interview Things liked / disliked about job Commitment to work
1968 R00262.00 -- R00263.00-R00268.00 --
1969 R01077.00, R01090.00 R01091.00, R01092.00 R01078.00-R01083.00 --
1970 R01861.00 R01874.00, R01875.00, R02229.00 R01862.00-R01867.00 R01881.00-R01884.00
1971 R02946.00 R02959.00, R02960.00, R03307.00 R02947.00-R02952.00 --
1972 R03819.00 R03849.00, R03850.00 R03820.00-R03825.00 R03856.00-R03859.00
1973 R04609.00 R04626.00, R04627.00 R04610.00-R04615.00, R04628.00 --
1978 R06277.00 R06285.00, R06286.00 R06278.00-R06283.00 R06485.00-R06488.00
1980 R07178.00, R07206.00 -- R07179.00-R07184.00,
1982 R07630.00 -- R07631.00-R07636.00 --
1983 R08545.00 R08553.00, R08554.00 R08543.00-R08551.00 R08778.00-R08781.00
1985 R09560.00 -- -- --
1987 R10740.00 -- -- --
1988 R11150.00 R11582.00, R11583.00 R11151.00-R11153.00,
1991 R13606.00, R12385.00 -- -- --
1993 R13717.00, R13718.00,
R15781.00, R15782.00
-- -- --
1995 R25476.00-R25481.00 -- -- --
1997 e.g., R36578.00 (job #01) -- -- --
1999 e.g., R44618.00 (job #01) -- -- --
2001 e.g. R58146.00 (job #01) -- -- --
2003 e.g. R69189.00 (job #01) -- -- --
1 Attitude toward current job was asked in the 1968-87 surveys. In 1988-93, the survey inquired about the respondent's current or last job. In 1995-2003, the survey asked about each job the respondent held since the last interview.

Facet-Specific Job Satisfaction Scale: During the 1980 survey, employed respondents (wage and salary workers or self-employed respondents) were asked to rate a series of descriptive statements, on a scale from "very true" to "not at all true." These job satisfaction statements covered pay, working conditions, chances for promotion, job security, competence of the supervisor, and the friendliness of their coworkers. The variable titles include the phrase "Job Satisfaction Index" and their reference numbers are R07195.00-R07209.00 and R07219.00-R07227.00.

Users can construct a job satisfaction index by coupling: (1) the global job satisfaction measures described above, (2) select items from the facet-specific job satisfaction ratings, and (3) responses to the commitment to work question. Table YW2 presents the years in which these components are available.

Table YW2.  Job Satisfaction Scale Components by Year and Search Phrase

Job Satisfaction Scale Components Years Available
Global Satisfaction Measures all years except 1975 and 1977
Facet Specific Job Satisfaction Ratings 1980
Commitment to Work 1970, 1972, 1978, 1983, 1988

Survey Instruments & Documentation: The user can find the job satisfaction questions within the "Current Labor Force Status" sections of the questionnaires. More information on constructing the seven-item job satisfaction scale can be found in Appendix 23 and Appendix 28 of the Young Women's Codebook Supplement.

User Notes

Cross-cohort analyses are possible using items from the other Original Cohorts, NLSY79, and NLSY97.


Andrisani, Paul J.; Appelbaum, Eileen; Koppel, Ross; and Miljus, Robert C. Work Attitudes and Labor Market Experience: Evidence from the National Longitudinal Surveys. New York: Praeger Publishers, 1978.