Your boss loves the power and the money -- and why not?

Newsflash: Money and power make people happy. Who knew?

A new Pew Research Center survey shows that America's bosses are happier in their family lives, with their pay at work and with their jobs as a whole than the peons slaving away in the trenches. Bosses are also more likely to be Republicans, while workers skew Democratic, and are more likely to attend church.

While some of these findings may strike you as as coming from the Department of the Obvious, Pew did manage to uncover some surprises in their October survey of some 2,000 adults. For one thing, becoming the boss is not the ultimate goal of many workers. Only about 40 percent of those surveyed said they would eventually like to be put in charge. More people, about 43 percent, said they don't want the job.

Still, the ones who have made it to the top tend to be very happy with their lives, according to the survey. Here's what Pew found out about bosses:

Life at home: About 83 percent of bosses said they were "very satisfied" with their home lives, compared with 74 percent of workers.

Good jobs: Some 69 percent of bosses really like their jobs, much higher than the 48 percent of workers who felt the same way.

Good money: About 40 percent of bosses are very happy with their financial position, compared with 28 percent of workers. Half of the bosses said they earned at least $75,000 a year, while only a third of workers made that much.

Career path: When asked if their job was a career, 78 percent of bosses said yes, while only 44 percent of workers responded affirmatively. The workers were more inclined to say they were just working a job to get by.

Well prepared: Nearly three-quarters of bosses said they had enough education and training to do well, compared with only 57 percent of workers. 

The Pew researchers were struck by how much bosses and workers agreed on gender issues in the workplace. Nearly the same percentage -- about half -- said it's easier for a man to get ahead than a woman. About half of each group also believes men get paid more than women for the same work.

But those surveyed seemed to think the gender gap was nonexistent at their specific workplaces. About 70 percent to 75 percent said that where they work, men and women are paid equally and have the same opportunities to advance. 

So what does this all tell us? In some ways, not much more than we knew before: It's good to be the boss, even if many of us don't want the job.

  • Kim Peterson

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