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The States Where Employees are Happiest and Unhappiest

The States Where Employees are Happiest and Unhappiest
Credit: Rawpixel.com/Shutterstock

If Twitter is any indication, you can figure out where the happiest employees are by looking at the states in which the tweeters live, new research suggests.

State population appears to be a key barometer of job happiness, with employees in many of the least-populated states having high job satisfaction and those in higher-populated states tending to be less happy at work, according to a Twitter-based study from the job search site Monster and the social intelligence company Brandwatch.

For the study, researchers analyzed and compared more than 2 million English-language tweets, searching for conversations that included words and phrases indicating loving or hating jobs.

"With the ever-increasing popularity of social media platforms, it's becoming more and more common for people to publicly share their opinions about anything and everything – both personal and professional – at an incredible scale," Amy Barker, head of analytics at Brandwatch, said in a statement. "A collection of social media mentions is an extremely interesting dataset, because it gives you a rare opportunity to evaluate an audience's natural and unfiltered opinions on a topic." [See Related Story: The 50 Happiest Companies to Work For]

The research revealed that in seven out of the 20 least-populated U.S. states, people are tweeting about loving their job at a higher ratio to hating their job. The states with the happiest employees, according to their tweets, are:

  1. Idaho
  2. Montana
  3. North Dakota
  4. Vermont
  5. Utah
  6. Maine
  7. Alaska
  8. Washington
  9. Minnesota
  10. Tennessee

Conversely, employees in three of the 10 most populated states take to Twitter most to complain about their job. In addition, the top 10 states in which people on Twitter hate their job at a higher ratio are all located in the eastern half of the U.S. The states with the unhappiest employees, according to Twitter, are:

  1. Michigan
  2. Virginia
  3. West Virginia
  4. New Jersey
  5. Ohio
  6. Maryland
  7. Louisiana
  8. Florida
  9. Connecticut
  10. Delaware

"Whether you are a job seeker looking for a new opportunity with high happiness potential or are an employer trying to increase employee satisfaction, it seems that the adage 'location, location, location' may just be the most important thing to consider," said Matt Anchin, senior vice president of global communications and content at Monster.

The study also uncovered how social media job sentiment varied by months of the year and days of the week. Employees profess love for their job most in October and least in July. When it comes to specific days of the week, U.S. workers tweet most positively about work on Thursday and negatively on Sundays.

"Despite transitions already occurring in our perception of a 'typical workweek,' Sunday retained its position as the day with the highest ratio of hate to love – perhaps because those who work on the weekdays still are heavily manifesting their work dread for the week ahead on social media," the study's authors wrote.

The study shows that co-workers play a big role in whether people love or hate their jobs. When looking at specific Twitter conversations, employees who love their job, also love the people they work with, while those who hate their job are much less enamored of their colleagues.

"Workers tended to refer to 'people' in conversations where both job love and job hate is expressed," Barker said. "This suggests that it’s not always about the work, the pay, or the office, but about who you spend every day with."

Chad Brooks

Chad Brooks is a Chicago-based writer and editor with nearly 20 years in media. A 1998 journalism graduate of Indiana University, Chad began his career with Business News Daily in 2011 as a freelance writer. In 2014, he joined the staff full time as a senior writer. Before Business News Daily, Chad spent nearly a decade as a staff reporter for the Daily Herald in suburban Chicago, covering a wide array of topics including local and state government, crime, the legal system and education. Chad has also worked on the other side of the media industry, promoting small businesses throughout the United States for two years in a public relations role. His first book, How to Start a Home-Based App Development Business, was published in 2014. He lives with his wife and daughter in the Chicago suburbs.