Three-Quarters of Americans Stressed by Something at Work

Everest College's Annual Work Stress Survey Finds Low Pay at Top of List for Second Consecutive Year; Fear of Losing Job Drops Considerably

Santa Ana, California, UNITED STATES

LOS ANGELES, Aug. 15, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- As summer vacations wind down, it's back to the workplace where nearly three quarters of employed Americans are stressed out on the job for one reason or another, according to data released today in the 2012 Work Stress Survey conducted by Harris Interactive on behalf of Everest College.

The telephone survey of 898 employed adults found that a majority of Americans (73%) are stressed by at least one thing at work. For the second consecutive year, paltry paychecks was the top stressor with 11% of adults ranking low wages as the most stressful aspect of work, followed by annoying coworkers (10%), commuting (9%), unreasonable workload (9%) and working in a job that is not their chosen career (8%).

Americans, however, seem to be more confident regarding job security with just 4% ranking fear of being fired or laid off a top concern, compared to 9% in 2011. Other key stressors include poor work-life balance (5%), lack of opportunity for advancement (5%) and the boss (4%).

"With ongoing uncertainty gripping the job market and economy, it's only natural that job stress continues to be a major issue," said survey spokesman John Swartz, regional director of career services at Everest College. "Anxiety among employees reduces productivity, lessens job satisfaction, lowers morale and has a negative impact on health. Workplace stress costs U.S. employers billions, and it's critical that both employer and employee take action to reduce this epidemic."

Women, More Than Men, Stressed by Low Pay

The survey found that women and men have some key differences when ranking the most stressful aspect of their job. Women ranked low pay at 14% while 8% of men said it was the top stressor. Another key differentiator was that 11% of women said their job wasn't their chosen career, compared to 5% of men.

Similar to other Americans, 14% of the survey participants with a high school diploma or less ranked low pay as the top stressor, followed by annoying coworkers (12%). College graduates ranked unreasonable workload No. 1 (13%), followed by low pay (11%).

"Americans are more focused than ever on taking charge of their career and not taking their jobs for granted," Swartz said. "To reduce job stress, the most critical component is working in a career of your own choosing. If you're frustrated about your career and want to improve your situation long-term, make a plan for success.

"Whether you've been in a career for 20 years or are just starting out, stay current on new trends, learn practical skills, and consider choosing a field of study that will translate into a job in a growth industry like health care. At Everest College, we understand that career-oriented post-secondary education is vital to the economy, and we give our students the practical skills to move forward and thrive in their chosen career."

Top Careers For Stability

Industries and occupations related to health care, personal care and social assistance, and construction are projected to have the fastest job growth between 2010 and 2020, according to a February, 2012 report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The 20 industries with the largest projected wage and salary employment growth between 2010 and 2020 include:

  • Offices of health practitioners
  • Hospitals
  • Home health-care services
  • Nursing and residential care facilities
  • Computer system design and related services

"All government labor projections continue to show that health care is and will continue to be one of the fastest-growing industries in the U.S.," said Swartz. "The overwhelming majority of Everest's programs are in this sector and we have worked very hard to make sure our curriculum is relevant to the industries our students are interested in."

By the Numbers: 2012 Work Stress Survey Fast Facts

  • While 73% of Americans said at least one thing is stressful about their jobs, 26% said nothing stresses them out about their jobs. In 2011, 21% said nothing about their job stresses them out.
  • Of the Americans who said nothing stresses them out on the job, the highest concentration was those with a household income of more than $100,000 (37%).
  • Regionally, the Northeast is more likely than the South to indicate an unreasonable workload is the most stressful aspect of the job (14% vs. 7%), while the West is more likely than the Midwest to say their job not being their chosen career is most stressful (11% vs. 4%).

About the Survey

Everest College's 2012 Work Stress Survey was conducted by telephone within the United States by Harris Interactive between June 21 and July 1, 2012 among 898 employed U.S. adults ages 18+. Results were weighted for age, sex, geographic region, and race where necessary to align them with their actual proportions in the population.

About Everest College

Everest College is part of Corinthian Colleges, Inc., one of the largest post-secondary education companies in North America. Its mission is to prepare students for careers in demand or for advancement in their chosen field. It offers diploma programs and associate and bachelor's degrees in a variety of occupational areas, including health care, criminal justice, business, information technology and construction trades. Programs vary by campus. For more information, please visit For more information about our graduation rates, the median debt of students who completed the program and other important information, please visit our website at

About Harris Interactive

Harris Interactive is one of the world's leading custom market research firms, leveraging research, technology, and business acumen to transform relevant insight into actionable foresight. Known widely for the Harris Poll and for pioneering innovative research methodologies, Harris offers expertise in a wide range of industries including healthcare, technology, public affairs, energy, telecommunications, financial services, insurance, media, retail, restaurant, and consumer package goods. Serving clients in over 215 countries and territories through our North American, European, and Asian offices and a network of independent market research firms, Harris specializes in delivering research solutions that help us – and our clients – stay ahead of what's next. For more information, please visit

EDITOR'S NOTE: John Swartz, regional director of career services at Everest College, is available for interviews to discuss the survey. To schedule an interview or for more information on the 2012 Work Stress Survey, please contact Ron Neal or George Medici at PondelWilkinson Inc.: Tel: 310-279-5980; Email: and/or



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