The city that scores highest for job satisfaction isn’t one of Europe’s big political or financial centres – it’s Austria’s second-largest city, Graz.
Despite a relatively small population of around 310,000, Graz has a thriving economy, particularly in the cultural, scientific and educational sectors. According to a survey carried out in 2015 by the European Commission, 85% of Graz residents were “satisfied” with their jobs.
Other cities that made it to the top of the list were Zurich, a close second with 83%, Vienna and Reykjavik in joint third place with 79%, and Copenhagen and Rennes in fourth at 78%.
Source: Quality of Life in European Cities 2015, European Commission
For the report, 40,000 citizens in 79 European cities were asked a range of questions about where they lived, focusing on their satisfaction with personal quality of life and work.
One of the questions was: “Overall, are you very satisfied, fairly satisfied, not very satisfied, or not at all satisfied with your personal job situation?”
In order to determine which cities have the happiest workers, the places with the most “very satisfied” responses were selected.
It turns out Europeans’ job satisfaction varies considerably from city to city. French cities score particularly well, making up four of the top 15 with three-quarters of the population in Rennes, Paris, Bordeaux and Strasbourg saying they were happy in their work. London, on the other hand, is only placed 27th.
Cities in southern European countries, especially those on the frontline of the Eurozone debt crisis, have some of the lowest scores. The three cities where people are least satisfied with their jobs are Greek: 41% of workers in Athens, for example, said they were “not at all satisfied”.
Residents in five Italian cities – Turin, Rome, Bologna, Naples and Palermo – were also among the most dissatisfied, with 30% or more of respondents stating that they were “not at all satisfied” with their jobs (in Turin, 36% were dissatisfied).
Spanish and Portuguese cities including Madrid and Lisbon also fared badly on job satisfaction levels, scoring 34% and 30% respectively.