PayScale, the online compensation data website, spent last year surveying approximately 30,000 workers and asked the simple, albeit loaded*, question: “Does my job make the world a better place?”
Possible answers included “very much so,” “yes,” “a little,” “no,” and “my job makes the world a worse place.”
“Only about 1 percent of respondents gave that last answer,” writes The New York Times’ Catherine Rampell, “I was curious to know…what kinds of workers thought they were destroying humanity rather than ‘doing God’s work.’”
At the Times’ request, PayScale sorted through the responses to help answer that question. And the results are a little surprising.
However, before we look at Payscale’s answer to the “who thinks their job is destroying humanity” question, a few things should be said about the survey. As any Blaze reader who follows the business portion of the site knows, all surveys and polls must be viewed with a certain amount of skepticism.
“The study is of course not without its flaws,” writes Ashley Cloninger of Wall St. Cheat Sheet. “The respondents opted to take part in PayScale’s database rather than being randomly selected. Those that volunteer their input might differ slightly from the type of person who only responds when asked."
PayScale claims that it regularly compares its figures to the Labor Department's and other sources to make sure its numbers appear accurate and representative, according to the Times.
Nevertheless, because of its respondent selection (in addition to the usual sampling errors inherent in these types of surveys), you should probably take PayScale's results with a grain of salt.
So with the regular data sampling caveats in mind, here are the “top 5” worst-rated jobs:
5. Investment Banking Associate -- 3.8 percent believe their job makes the world a worse place.
4. Fashion Designers -- 4.1 percent said their job makes the world a worse place.
3. Senior Attorney -- 4.9 percent gave their job poor marks.
2. Bartenders-- 5.8 percent have an extremely low opinion of their occupation.
1. Fast-Food Worker - 42.3 believe that they make the world a worse place.
Good gravy, 42.3 percent? Are fast food worker really that miserable?
“Of the occupations in the PayScale survey, fast-food workers appear to view what they do with the most contempt, since 42.3 percent said their jobs might make the world a worse place,” Rampell writes.
Oh, and in case you were wondering, PayScale also sorted through the responses and listed the “top 5” industries where employees think they are "destroying humanity":
5. Beer, Wine and Distilled Alcoholic Beverage Merchant Wholesalers: 2.1 percent
4. Fast-Food Restaurants: 2.8 percent
3. Gasoline Stations: 4.4 percent
2. Gambling Industries: 5.0 percent
1. Tobacco Manufacturing: 15.9 percent
*"Loaded" because there are no clear definition of terms. “Better” by whose standard?