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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.

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

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