Ten U.S. Cities With Lowest Levels of Job Satisfaction, Including Denver

We're so accustomed to Denver landing on positive lists — just last month, U.S. News & World Report named the Mile High City the best place to live in the country — that when our home registers poorly, it comes across as a shock.

That's certainly the case with the Indeed Happiness Index 2016, from the folks at the Indeed Hiring Lab.

As part of its new report, Indeed came up with a list of the ten cities with the lowest levels of job satisfaction — and Denver wound up on it.

Oh man, did it.

Here's the methodology Indeed used to reach its conclusions:
Using the 10 million aggregated and anonymized company reviews on Indeed, we compared countries, cities and job titles based on the average review scores. A review can have one to five stars, so within each cluster we grouped reviews by the number of stars current or former employees gave. We then calculated the average rating based on the number of reviews in each of the five categories. 
Continue to count down the photo-illustrated top — or perhaps we should say "bottom" — ten when it comes to job satisfaction, followed by an Indeed excerpt offering more specifics about Denver's poor performance. To see the original item, click here.

Number 10: Nashville, Tennessee

Number 9: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Number 8: Charlotte, North Carolina

Number 7: Salt Lake City, Utah

Number 6: Cincinnati, Ohio

Continue to keep counting down the ten U.S. cities with the lowest levels of job satisfaction, including Denver.

Number 5: Richmond, Virginia

Number 4: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Number 3: Louisville, Kentucky

Number 2: Indianapolis, Indiana

Number 1: Denver, Colorado

Indeed blog excerpt:
Least Happy Major Metros in the US

For some, the top result may be surprising. After all, last year Forbes magazine ranked Denver as the best city to live for its “diverse economy, highly educated labor force and outdoor recreational opportunities.” And yet Denver has a higher concentration of disgruntled workers than troubled Detroit or Providence, capital of a state which as recently as 2014 had the country’s worst job market.

In fact, not only did Denver rank last among workers for overall job satisfaction, it also ranked last for management, work/life balance and job security. People in Pittsburgh are least satisfied with their work culture, while workers in Indianapolis are most unhappy when it comes to salary.

As with Germany and Japan, high levels of overall prosperity do not appear to correlate with higher levels of individual job satisfaction. Meanwhile, the unhappiest job in Denver (and third unhappiest in the US overall) is ”admission counselor,” whose role often involves delivering disappointing news to young people. Other professions we find at the bottom include truck driver and security officer, which is understandable, as these jobs have characteristics that might not appeal to everyone, including long periods of time spent alone on the road or patrolling.

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts