Back to The Wire What is The Wire? The Wire features the latest news coverage from The Atlantic.

Your Boss Is Happier Than You

New research from Pew Social Trends says that you have been right for all of these years: Your boss is happier than you are. And in everything, by the way.

New research from Pew Social Trends says that you have been right for all of these years: Your boss is happier than you are. And in everything, by the way. This isn't just "oh, I have more control at work and so my job is better" or "I make more money, that's great"—your boss likes his or her (probably his, Pew suggests) family better than you like yours, too.

The numbers. On the graph below, the blue bars are the precentage of bosses (a self-identified 16 percent of respondents) who said they were very satisfied with various things. The red bars are how you, the common man or woman did. As you feared:

All of your other stereotypes are fulfilled, too. Bosses ("top managers" in Pew's formulation) are more likely to be Republican (53 percent to 37 percent). They're more likely to describe themselves as conservatives. And they are a group in which there are more men, more white people, and more people from the Baby Boomer generation.

The age gap between bosses and workers—about eight years, on average—plays a role in the higher position and increased salary. Those salaries are probably why bosses tend to be happier: "about half of all bosses and top managers (54%) have household incomes of $75,000 or more, compared with only about a third (32%) of other employees." And bosses are about half as likely to be looking for another job.

Regular people win in one respect, though: a slight plurality of people would rather not become a boss. Who needs all that happiness and money? That's not what the American dream is about.


This post previously appeared on The Wire.

Presented by

Philip Bump is a former politics writer for The Atlantic Wire.

How a Psychedelic Masterpiece Is Made

A short documentary about Bruce Riley, an artist who paints abstract wonders with poured resin

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register with Disqus.

Please note that The Atlantic's account system is separate from our commenting system. To log in or register with The Atlantic, use the Sign In button at the top of every page.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

How a Psychedelic Masterpiece Is Made

A short documentary about Bruce Riley, an artist who paints abstract wonders with poured resin

Videos

Why Is Google Making Skin?

Hidden away on Google’s campus, doctors are changing the way people think about health.

Video

How to Build a Tornado

A Canadian inventor believes his tornado machine could solve the world's energy crisis.

Video

A New York City Minute, Frozen in Time

This short film takes you on a whirling tour of the Big Apple

Video

What Happened to the Milky Way?

Light pollution has taken away our ability to see the stars. Can we save the night sky?

More in National

Just In