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Singaporeans the unhappiest employees, says survey of 7 Asian markets

JobStreet.com's Job Happiness Index found SIngaporeans to be the most unhappy employees among the seven Asian markets surveyed. (Graphic: JobStreet.com)
JobStreet.com's Job Happiness Index found SIngaporeans to be the most unhappy employees among the seven Asian markets surveyed. (Graphic: JobStreet.com)

Singaporeans are the unhappiest employees out of of seven Asian markets, according to JobStreet.com’s Job Happiness Index released on Thursday (29 September).

Out of the 67,764 participants from Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand, Hong Kong and Vietnam surveyed in June, the 3,398 Singaporean respondents averaged a 5.09 score out of the highest – and happiest – score of 10.

Workers in the Philippines were found to be the happiest, with an average score of 6.25. The average scores of the remaining markets were (in ascending order of happiness): Malaysia (5.22); Vietnam (5.48); Hong Kong (5.56); Thailand (5.74) and Indonesia (6.16). 

Singaporeans were also the most pessimistic about their prospects in their existing jobs. Sentiment ratings and future outlooks about their jobs saw them scoring an average of 4.93, the unhappiest score among the surveyed markets.

Among the Singaporean respondents, those in the C-suites (i.e. top corporate executives) were found to be the unhappiest with an average score of 4.4, while fresh graduates were the happiest employees with an average score of 5.3. Those working in the sciences, hotels and restaurants, as well as human resources were found to be the happiest employees.

Lack of management competency was the top reason cited by Singaporean respondents for being unhappy at work. The second biggest factor was the lack of promotions and career development, followed by poor training and development programmes.

Rising unemployment and a slower economy were not factored in the survey, although these factors have a dampening effect, said Chook Yuh Yng, country manager of JobsStreet.com Singapore.

“The number of job seekers is outnumbering vacancies by 100 to 93 for the first time in four years. On the other end of the spectrum, the happiest employees in the Philippines are enjoying stronger economic and job growth," she said.

Singaporean respondents cited convenient work location, having good colleagues and company reputation as key factors underpinning job happiness. They also recommended getting a new job (30 per cent), a higher salary (19 per cent) and receiving recognition from one's company (9 per cent) as ways to increase job happiness.