According to a study released by Pewresearch, U.S. employees prefer job security over high-paying jobs when asked to choose between the two. This report is based on a survey of 2,048 adults, including 808 young adults (ages 18 to 34), conducted Dec. 6–19, 2011; it also includes data collected from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Among younger workers, more than half (56 percent) say they would prefer job security over higher pay (41 percent). The margin between the two is even greater among older workers, as 59 percent would prefer to have job security against 35 percent who would want higher pay.
The youngest employees (ages 18–24) offer a more even split of the data: 51 percent would prefer job security over higher pay (46 percent). This is a dramatic shift from the 2009 Pewresearch study, which showed 61 percent of the youngest workers would prefer job security over 36 percent higher pay. Student loans could help explain these high numbers, since survey respondents in this age bracket may have recently graduated from college.
The economy has affected U.S workers of all ages. The majority of employees across all groups would prefer job security as opposed to higher pay if given the option between the two, indicating a degree of skepticism about the current job market. With the exception of the youngest category of workers, the vast majority of survey respondents value job security.