Despite the pandemic, an economic crisis, mass layoffs and high unemployment, the percentage of employees reporting overall satisfaction with their jobs remained high in 2020, according to a new survey from The Conference Board.

The Conference Board notes that while some components of job satisfaction declined due to the recession and economic stress, companies devoted more efforts and resources toward supporting their employees, their well-being and their families during the pandemic. This resulted in a slight increase in job satisfaction from 56.3 percent in 2019 to 56.9 percent in 2020.

“The compassion, flexibility and support shown by companies in 2020 played a large role in this increased job satisfaction,” said Amy Lui Abel, PhD, vice president, human capital at The Conference Board. “As the pandemic subsides and the residual impact on employee mental health and wellness becomes clear, companies will need to continue this support if they hope to maintain this upward trend.”

Job satisfaction did, however, vary by age group: those under 35 experienced a drop in satisfaction, while those 55-plus experienced an increase. In addition, the percent of workers reporting engagement in their work increased from 53.2 percent in 2019 to 54.3 percent in 2020, indicating a heightened connection between employees and their jobs. The results also show that the job satisfaction of those working remotely was not significantly different from the satisfaction level of other workers.

“In 2021, and in the following years, we expect job satisfaction to continue to improve because of a significant recovery in economic conditions,” says Gad Levanon, vice president, labor markets at The Conference Board. “Weak growth in labor supply and a strong demand for workers will continue to lower the unemployment rate. In fact, we predict unemployment will be at almost four percent by year’s end, barring a reversal in the pandemic trajectory.”

Click here for more information on The Conference Board’s findings.