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New Gallup data suggests redefining how the US keeps score on employment




Google Doodler Jennifer Hom designs the Freddy Mercury doodle at the Google headquarters in Mountain View, California, on September 2, 2011.
Google Doodler Jennifer Hom designs the Freddy Mercury doodle at the Google headquarters in Mountain View, California, on September 2, 2011.
AFP/AFP/Getty Images

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Do positive jobs reports, high graduation rates and low unemployment numbers really reflect how well America’s workforce is doing and how it sees itself?

Gallup has released new data that it says makes the case for a re-examination of what markers we use to track and evaluate employment and educational success. Their findings show 34 percent of all working adults report making the same or less overall income than they did five years ago, and that just 12 percent working adults say they’re in the “best imaginable job” for them. The data, Gallup says, is evidence of the need to create a new method of evaluating employment that looks not only at how many people have jobs and how many new jobs are created, but also at how many people feel they have a “great job” and how that’s defined. They say some examples of those factors could be flexibility of working hours and location, how your job lines up with your skill set and what you actually do every day, or whether your work involves you being asked to be creative and/or come up with new ways to do your job.

What do you think of Gallup’s findings? What about creating a new way to evaluate employment that looks at quality of work and employee satisfaction? How are you seeing these findings play out in your workplace? By Gallup’s suggested definitions, would you say you have a “great job?” What factors define a “great job” for you?

Guest:

Brandon Busteed, executive director for education and workforce development at Gallup