Just how important is workplace satisfaction for employee retention? Extremely, according to one recent survey, which found that 77% of workers were more likely to stay with an employer if they were satisfied with their company’s organizational culture.  


Ensuring workers are happy isn’t just about satisfying employees either; businesses who increase their employee retention benefit by saving money, boosting productivity, and improving customer satisfaction.  


Given this, we gathered online employee review data for 200 companies across 10 different industries (20 companies per industry) to see which industries have the happiest employees. We ranked each company based on the following criteria: culture & values, diversity & inclusion, work-life balance, compensation, career opportunities, and senior management satisfaction. Each company could score up to five points per category for an industry total out of 100.  


The complete findings are as follows: 


Ranking the Happiest Industries 

 Culture & Values Diversity & Inclusion Work-Life Balance Compensation Career Opportunities Senior Management Avg. out of 100 
Construction 74.9 75.7 65.9 73.1 74.2 69.4 72.2 
Accounting & Taxes 74 76.3 67.7 68.6 75.3 69.6 71.92 
Manufacturing 74 77.9 69 71.9 71.2 66.5 71.75 
Tech 70.3 74.8 71.5 72.1 67.2 61.8 69.62 
Healthcare 68 73.8 66.6 66.9 67.5 60.7 67.25 
Hospitality 69.8 75.2 65.5 57.3 69.1 65.1 67 
Transport & Logistics 64.8 71.8 62 64.1 66 60.8 64.92 
Tourism 67.4 72 63.8 65.6 52 49.5 61.72 
Legal 64.5 70.1 66.8 65.2 39.6 55.6 60.3 
Retail & eCommerce 64.7 72.4 38.6 63.1 63 58.8 60.1 


The Happiest Industries



According to our findings, the industries with the happiest employees include construction, accounting & taxes, and manufacturing, each of which earned the highest score in at least one category.  



The construction industry has the happiest employees, earning an average score of 72.20 out of 100. There are several factors likely contributing to construction’s high scores including skyrocketing wages, which have seen a more than 20% increase since 2021 across the country. Other contributing factors include increasing job opportunities across the sector, greater job security, and the availability of diverse roles.  


Accounting & Taxes

Following construction, the accounting & tax industry has the second-happiest employees, with an overall average of 71.92 out 100. Accounting & taxes scored the highest in several categories, including career opportunities (75.3) and senior management (69.6). Additionally, one recent study found 95% of accountants are satisfied with their current role, citing good pay, global job opportunities, and job security as the primary reasons. 



The manufacturing industry came in third place, with an average score of 71.75 out of 100. Manufacturing scored the highest our of all industries for diversity & inclusion, earning a score of 77.9 in the category. Other contributing factors to manufacturing employees happiness may include pay—entrylevel manufacturing jobs usually pay $3 to $5 more than entrylevel jobs in other industries. Many manufacturing employees also receive robust employee benefits, which can help to explain their high scores. 


The Least Happy Industries




The unhappiest industries, according to our findings, include tourism, legal, and retail & eCommerce, all of which scored relatively low across the board.  



Tourism is the third unhappiest industry, with an overall average of 61.72 points. While the tourism industry scored poorly across the board, it also had the lowest score of any industry in the senior management category at 49.5. Reasons for low scores in the tourism industry include low pay and long, inflexible hours.  



The legal industry is the second unhappiest of all industries, according to our findings, scoring an average score of 60.3. Legal scored a paltry score of 39.6 in the career opportunity category, which isn’t just the least for the category but the lowest score for any category.  


Retail & eCommerce

The retail and eCommerce industry has the unhappiest employees of any industry, earning an overall score of 60.1 out of 100. Several factors contribute to retail workers’ unhappiness at work, including notoriously low pay, inflexible hours, poor leadership, and lack of growth opportunities. One recent report found that 30% of retail workers who quit their jobs in the last year would have stayed had scheduling been more adaptable.   


How to Increase Happiness in the Workplace 


To get a better understanding of how to increase happiness in the workplace, we spoke with Elizabeth Pharo, CEO of the legal advisory business Divorce.com. Elizabeth offered these insights into the best ways to increase employee happiness: 


  1. Invest in Employee Development 


One approach is to invest in employee development and growth. By offering training and development opportunities, companies can show their employees that they value their skills and potential. This can lead to increased job satisfaction and loyalty.” 


  1. Foster a Culture of Open Communication 


“Create a positive work environment where employees feel valued and respected. This can be achieved by fostering a culture of open communication, where employees feel comfortable sharing their ideas and concerns. Additionally, recognizing and rewarding employees for their hard work and dedication can go a long way in making them feel appreciated and motivated.” 


  1. Offer Competitive Compensation and Benefits 


“Providing competitive compensation and benefits packages can help retain employees. By offering fair wages and attractive benefits, companies can demonstrate that they care about their employees’ well-being and financial security.” 


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We selected 10 top industries in the United States and identified 20 top companies per industry. We then used Glassdoor review data, which ranks each company on a scale of 1 to 5 on the following categories:  


  • Culture & values 
  • Diversity & inclusion 
  • Work-life balance 
  • Compensation 
  • Career opportunities  
  • Senior management 


This means each company could earn up to 5 points in each category. We then added the 20 scores for each company together for a total possible point value of 100 per category. Those total scores were then averaged to receive the overall score for each industry.