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Four in 10 U.S. workers think they are underpaid but they are enthusiastic

Staff Writer |
Forty-three percent of U.S. workers think they are underpaid, 50% say they are paid about right and 5% think they are overpaid.

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The percentage saying they are underpaid is the same as it was eight years ago, the last time Gallup asked the question - a time when unemployment was much higher and optimism about the availability of good jobs far lower than it is now.

The only other time Gallup asked the question, in August 2008, just over half (51%) said they were underpaid, with 49% saying they were paid about right (46%) or were overpaid (3%).

At that time, the U.S. economy was already enmeshed in the Great Recession of 2007-2009, and a worldwide financial crisis was only weeks away.

The percentage of "engaged" workers in the U.S. - those who are involved in, enthusiastic about and committed to their work and workplace - is now 34%, tying its highest level since Gallup began reporting the national figure in 2000.

In March 2016, Gallup also reported that 34% of U.S. employees were engaged, along with 16.5% who were "actively disengaged" - a ratio of two engaged workers for every actively disengaged one.

The percentage who are "actively disengaged" - workers who have miserable work experiences - is now at its lowest level (13%), making the current ratio of engaged to actively disengaged employees 2.6-to-1 - the highest ever in Gallup tracking.

These findings are based on a random sample of 30,628 full- and part-time U.S. employees working for an employer from January to June 2018.