NLSY79 Appendix 3: Job Satisfaction Measures

National Longitudinal Survey of Youth - 1979 Cohort

NLSY79 Appendix 3: Job Satisfaction Measures

Included in the 1979 through 1982 NLSY79 is a measure of job satisfaction with econometric properties that make it better than the global job satisfaction measure also included in the surveys. The job satisfaction measure is a seven-item scale that has greater variance than the global satisfaction measure. The scale has been tested previously on broad cross-sections of national data.

The following is a list of the reference numbers for the job satisfaction scale variables and the global satisfaction variables for all of the current survey years in which it was used.

Survey Year
Reference # for Scale Items
Reference # for
Global Satisfaction
1979
R00489.
R00490.
R00494.
R00496.
R00497.
R00506.
R00508.
1980
R02659.
R02660.
R02664.
R02666.
R02667.
R02676.
R02678.
1981
R04473.
R04474.
R04478.
R04480.
R04481.
R04490.
R04492.
1982
R07034.
R07035.
R07039.
R07041.
R07042.
R07052.
R07065.
1988
R25296.
R25297.
R25302.
R25304.
R25305.
--
R25329.

This scale is a shortened form of the job satisfaction scales perfected for use in the University of Michigan's Quality of Employment Surveys of 1969, 1973, and 1977. Short forms were developed and documented by Robert Quinn.1 The Quality of Employment Survey scale was chosen for inclusion in the NLS because it has been analyzed for its reliability across a broad cross-section of workers. It is also much easier to administer for a large multi-purpose survey than are many of the other job satisfaction scales that exist.2

To construct the full seven-item scale, raw scores for each item should be converted to z scores for each respondent. The scores can then be multiplied by 100 to remove decimals and combined to obtain an unweighted average of the seven z scores. The resulting scores for the satisfaction index are either positive or negative numbers that can be interpreted as deviations from the mean for the total sample of respondents in the survey.

Notes

1Quinn, R.B. and Mangione, T.W. "Jobsat '72 and Its Kinfolk - A Brief Manual." Chapter 5 in The 1969-1970 Survey of Working Conditions: Chronicles of an Unfinished Enterprise. Ann Arbor: Survey Research Center, Institute for Social Research, University of Michigan, 1973.

2Data on the validities of the job satisfaction measures in the Quality of Employment Survey are reported in Mangione, T., "The Validity of Job Satisfaction." Doctoral dissertation, The University of Michigan, 1973. For a review of job satisfaction indicators, see Seashore, S. and Taber, T., "Job Satisfaction Indicators and Their Correlates." American Behavioral Scientist 18 (1975), 333-368.