Subjective wellbeing in different occupations in UK 2012-2022
About the report
The time we spend in paid employment is a large part of life in the UK and is a major factor in our wellbeing.
Yet, despite the UK’s strong track record and history in measuring wellbeing, people are poorly armed with information about the subjective wellbeing associated with a particular job or career.
To help increase access to – and use of – this knowledge, we have UK data 2012-2022 to explore:
- how wellbeing varies between occupations;
- how wellbeing changed over time across different occupations;
- how salary affects wellbeing;
- how the pandemic affected wellbeing.
Specifically, we looked at all four ONS4 measures (life satisfaction, happiness, anxiety and worthwhile) for nine main Standard Occupational Classification occupation types over the last 10 years. Data was taken from the Annual Population Survey and the 2020 Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings.
This analysis is part of our work to accelerate wellbeing data analysis, making our own methods visible and transparent, the data more accessible and metrics more widely used.
It updates work conducted in 2016 for the Centre by Ewen Mackinnon in 2016, which looked at the relationship between gross annual salary in 2013 and mean Life Satisfaction 2011-2013.
Download the code
Download the code from our data usage library on Github.
You can download a specific code, import it in Stata software package and run it on the data, making it ready for analysis.
All the code is available for free, but we ask that if you make use of it, you cite the technical report. Doing this means that we’ll be able to see who’s doing wellbeing research with this data, and we’ll be able to ensure that your work feeds into our future reviews and policy recommendations.
Tenaglia, S., February 2023. Subjective wellbeing in different occupations in UK 2012-2022 [online]. Full report. What Works Centre for Wellbeing. Available at: https://whatworkswellbeing.org/resources/civil-service-wellbeing-over-time/
Read the accompanying blog.
Download the factsheet.
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