7 Shocking Statistics About Work

by Salary.com Staff - Original publish date: July 29, 2014

It's Rough Out There

Truth is almost always stranger than fiction, and we found a bunch of eye-opening tidbits that might surprise you.

Do you have any idea how many employees die while on the job every year? How much sleep employees get? Or how many people date their coworkers? We scoured the Internet to find you answers to these burning questions, and so much more. So enjoy everything you didn’t know about the world of work.

7. Few People Love What They Do

They say if you love what you do you never work a day in your life. But apparently, falling in love isn’t easy.

According to a Salary.com 2013 survey, a whopping 73% of those surveyed work strictly for the paycheck. Maybe it’s because we’re slowly coming out of the recession and the effects are being felt, or perhaps not having to love your job is the new normal. Either way, that’s a whole lot of unhappy American workers.

6. Sometimes It Pays NOT to Work

While we always remain apolitical, we have to admit this is an eye-popping statistic.

According to this article, there are 35 states in which receiving welfare and other government assistance pays more than working a full-time minimum wage job. The 2013 Cato Institute report found 13 states where welfare pays more than $15 an hour. From the piece:

“The study found that the assistance — defined in the study as including government benefits such as food stamps, housing assistance and other programs — pays more than a first-year teacher’s salary in 11 states, the starting salary for a secretary in 39 states and an entry-level job as a computer programmer in three states.”

5. Workers Are Sleep Deprived

We need sleep to function properly. Preferably eight hours. But getting that much sleep on a nightly basis is becoming more and more difficult.

A 2012 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study found nearly one-third (30%) of American workers are getting less than six hours of sleep every night. The medically recommended amount is 7 to 9 hours of sleep on a nightly basis. While you might be tempted to say “So what?” you should remember lack of sleep not only leads to poor job performance, but obesity and types of cardiovascular disease.

4. Americans Are So Tired They're Falling Asleep at Work

Speaking of sleep, it’s funny to joke about sleeping on the job – except it’s not a joke.

This recently released survey found nearly half – 47% of respondents – have fallen asleep on the job at some point during their careers. While most people (51%) wake themselves up, 10% of office sleepers are caught by their bosses and 7% were found sleeping by their clients. More importantly for employers, 25% said they made mistakes due to sleep deprivation, while 47% feel less productive.

3. You Might Never Be Able to Retire

Many Baby Boomers are of retirement age, but that doesn’t mean they will (or can) retire at 65.

In fact, this Gallup poll found 49% of Baby Boomers are planning to wait until after 65 to retire. And while some are doing so to keep busy, others can’t afford the decrease in standard of living that retirement would bring with it. Also, 10% of Boomers claim they will never retire and will keep working (by necessity or choice) until they are physically unable.

2. Get a Job, Get a Date?

If you can’t love your job, love someone at your job.

Salary.com’s 2012 survey on office romances found almost half (47%) of all respondents have engaged in a workplace romance at some point during their careers. And while a lot of marriages and healthy relationships started at work, the 31% of people who said they were the subject of unwanted sexual advances while on the clock shows there are inherent problems when dipping your toes in the company dating pool.

1. Work Can Be a Real Killer

You might not think so, but thousands of people die on the job every single year.

In 2012, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration reported 4,628 workplace deaths. That’s 89 workplace deaths a week, or just more than a dozen per day. Contractors are involved in 15% of all fatal work accidents, while Latinos and Hispanics die at work at a rate of two per day, according to OSHA.

The Statistics Say...Negotiate Your Salary!

Another shocking statistic is 41% of people we surveyed last year didn't negotiate salary for their current job. Don't let that be you. Salary.com can help you get paid fairly what you do.

The first thing you should do is research, so you're able to come to the table armed with the knowledge of what your job is worth. Use our free Salary Wizard below to find out what's a fair salary for your position. You can enter your location, education level, years of experience and more to find out an appropriate salary range before you negotiate.

Good luck.