Salary serenity: Majority of workers feel they're paid the right amount of money

Happy woman with table covered with currencyOne consequence of the recession seems to be an increase in the number of workers that believe they are being paid the right amount of money for their job. According to a recent Gallup poll, 53% of American workers said they were being paid "about right." Another 43% believe they are underpaid, and a surprising 4% reported being overpaid. (It would be interesting to see a survey in which workers evaluated the pay of their peers, to see how many would be considered overpaid.)

The survey, taken August 5-8, covered adults older than 17 currently working at least part-time.

Looking back at earlier iterations of this survey shows that in August of 2008, only 46% of those surveyed felt they were making the right amount of money, while more than half (51%) considered themselves underpaid; 3% reported being overpaid.

When the survey asked if they were completely satisfied with their income, 31% said they were. Gallup has tracked this number since 1990, when only 16% were content with their compensation. The number grew steadily until 2004, when the percentage dropped from 28% to 25%, then climbed to 31% in late 2006 before dropping to 26% last year.

Gallup also asked if workers were afraid they were going to lose their job or experience a drop in pay. 26% were worried they might lose their job, down 5% from 2009 but far higher than the 15% in 2008. 26% feared their wages would be reduced, down 6% from 2009 but far higher than the 14% that answered the 2008 survey.

39% of those surveyed feared a loss or reduction in benefits, down 7% from 2009 but 12% higher than in 2008.

The quick take? The survey shows that workers have regained a little confidence in the status quo, but have a long way to go to recapture the sense of security that they felt during the boom times of the mid-00's.

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