Long commutes and low pay are the two things causing workers the most stress.
For the fourth consecutive year, small paychecks were the top stressor of employees, with 13 percent of adults ranking low wages as the most stressful aspect of their job, according to a new study from Everest College. Low pay shared the top spot with Americans' long commute to and from work, which jumped to 13 percent from 9 percent in 2011.
Among the other things putting stress on U.S. workers include unreasonable workloads, annoying co-workers, poor work-life balance, a job that is not a chosen career, lack of opportunity for advancement, bosses and fear of being fired or laid off. [5 Ways to Improve Your Work-Life Balance Today]
Overall, 80 percent of Americans are stressed by at least one thing at work, down from 83 percent a year ago.
"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. "I don't think you can ever eliminate all the factors that cause workplace anxiety, but as individuals we can definitely create a plan of action to improve our careers and change our lives."
The data discovered that levels of income and education play a significant role in determining the top stressors. 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 list unreasonable workload and poor work-life balance as their chief sources of stress.
"Work occupies a large portion of our lives, so keeping workplace stress in check is an absolute necessity in maintaining overall wellness," Cullen said. "Having a stable, satisfying career with good pay and plenty of job security is paramount for any worker, which is why education and training are more important than ever."
The study revealed that just 18 percent of employees said no aspect of their work adds to their stress levels. Among those surveyed, American workers 65 and older were more likely than any other age group to say there is nothing about their job that stresses them out.
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