In the last 20 years or so, work satisfaction has dropped among all age groups, with those aged over 50 among the most dissatisfied, according to the study by the Institute for Work and Qualification (IAQ) at the University of Duisburg-Essen.
In 1984, the level of job satisfaction, measured on a scale of 0 to 10, stood at an average of 7.6 but in 2009 it had fallen to 6.8, the study said.
Workers aged over 50 were those most satisfied with their jobs in the early 1980s but are now the most dissatisfied of all age groups.
The study, conducted by looking at surveys over a number of years, suggested that growing pressure at work, fear of losing one’s job and a growing divide between pay raises and the country’s growth rate were all to blame for creeping dissatisfaction.
In another study comparing work satisfaction levels in 22 European countries in 2006, Denmark, Switzerland and Finland scored best with average figures of 7.8, 7.7, and 7.6 respectively, while Ukraine, Bulgaria and Russia came last with figures ranging between 6.3 and 6.1.
The average figure for all countries was 7.1, with Britain scoring only fractionally better than Germany.