Ten States Where People Hate Going to Work

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Less than a third of the nation’s workers were actively engaged in their jobs last year, according to a Gallup report released this week.

Gallup’s State of the American Workplace showed that an additional 18% were actively disengaged from their jobs. These workers, according to Gallup, were “more likely to steal from their companies, negatively influence their coworkers, miss workdays, and drive customers away.” In Rhode Island, more than one in five workers was actively disengaged. Based on Gallup’s 2012 survey data, these are the 10 states where people hate going to work.

Click here to see the 10 states 

Unemployment tends to be higher in the states with the most disengaged workers. Of the 10 states on our list, seven had higher-than-average jobless rates. This includes Rhode Island, which had the third highest unemployment rate in 2012. All 10 states with the smallest proportion of disengaged workers had below-average unemployment in 2012.

This makes sense, explained Jim Hartner, Gallup’s chief scientist. “It might just be a reflection of stable business in those areas, where they’re flourishing and they’re hiring, as opposed to laying people off.” People are more likely to enjoy working at a successful business, he added. They also are more likely to be able to get an interesting job in a state with more job opportunities.

The states where workers are least satisfied were much less likely to have good work environments. All 10 had below-average percentages of workers using their strengths at work. Workers in these states were also among the least likely to report that their supervisor created a trusting environment. Four of the five states with the lowest worker satisfaction levels also had the highest rates of actively disengaged workers.

“When people that are engaged come to work, they know what’s expected, they feel comfortable in the job that they’re in,” Hartner explained. “They feel they have a manager that helps support them and helps develop them.”

Being engaged at work is an important part of an emotionally healthy life. The least-engaged workers tended to be the least likely to report being happy overall. Of the 10 states with the most disengaged workers, eight scored below average for overall emotional health.

24/7 Wall St. reviewed the 10 states with the highest proportion of workers deemed to be “actively disengaged” based on surveys conducted last year by Gallup for its State of the American Workplace report. In addition, we reviewed emotional health and workplace satisfaction data collected by Gallup and Healthways for their annual Well-Being Index, as well as 2012 job market figures from Gallup’s State of the States report. We also considered annual average unemployment rates for 2012, collected from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

These are the 10 states where people hate going to work.