- Shannon Stapleton/Reuters
- According to an INSIDER survey, the definition of a “good” job varies based on your politics, age, and geographic location.
- Liberals were more likely than conservatives to say paid parental leave is essential to a good job.
- Older respondents were more likely to say a pension is essential to a good job than younger respondents.
- Liberals were also more likely to say a living wage is essential to a good job.
A “good” job looks different to everyone.
An INSIDER survey through SurveyMonkey Audience in early December 2018 asked about 1,000 people to choose the factors that are essential to a good job. The list included items like salary, benefits, prestige, work/life balance, and the availability of office snacks.
Two of the biggest and most interesting differences along political lines had to do with the importance of paid parental leave and pensions. Specifically, liberals were significantly more likely than conservatives to say paid parental leave is essential, while older respondents were more likely than younger ones to say a pension is essential.
The issue of parental leave may not quite transcend politics
In the INSIDER survey, liberals were 25 percentage points more likely than conservatives to say paid maternity leave is essential. Liberals were also 26 percentage points more likely than conservatives to say paid paternity leave is essential.
Geographic data yields much the same conclusion: The survey found that respondents in the mid-Atlantic and Pacific regions of the US were 18 percentage points more likely to say paid paternity leave is essential than respondents in the east south central region. According to Gallup polls, mid-Atlantic and Pacific states tend to skew liberal, while the southeast tends to skew conservative.
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Meanwhile, the youngest survey respondents (ages 18 to 29) were 15 percentage points more likely than average to say paid maternity leave is essential to a good job. That could potentially be because younger respondents are more likely to be raising kids at the moment; it could also be because young people tend to be more liberal.
Previous research suggests that paid parental leave is an issue that largely transcends politics. As Business Insider’s Rachel Gillett reported, a poll from our partner, MSN, found that 96% of Democrats say mothers should get paid leave and 88% of Republicans agree, while 93% of Democrats think fathers should get paid leave and 77% of Republicans agree.
But the new INSIDER survey data suggests that paid parental leave may be more of a deal breaker for liberals than for conservatives.
Older people prioritize pensions more than younger people
One of the most striking survey findings is that respondents ages 18 to 29 were 19 percentage points less likely than average to say a pension is essential to a good job, while respondents 60 and over were 13 percentage points more likely.
That’s likely because, as Rebecca Fraser-Thill, the director of faculty engagement in the Bates Center for Purposeful Work at Bates College and a career coach with the Pivot program, told Business Insider, previous generations of workers expected more security and stability from their employers. Today’s workers don’t necessarily expect their employers to keep them on forever or take care of them financially.
A living wage isn’t a must-have for everyone
The importance of a living wage also varied between different groups of people. Liberals were 13 percentage points more likely than conservatives to say a living wage is essential to a good job. That might have to do with the fact that, according to the Pew Research Center, people making less than $30,000 a year are almost twice as likely to be Democrats than Republicans.
Meanwhile, respondents in the mountain and Pacific regions were 22 percentage points more likely than respondents in the east south central region to say so.
Interestingly, liberals were 24 percentage points more likely than conservatives to say making a positive impact on the world is essential to a good job – a finding that will need further research to explain.
SurveyMonkey Audience polls from a national sample balanced by census data of age and gender. Respondents are incentivized to complete surveys through charitable contributions. Generally speaking, digital polling tends to skew toward people with access to the internet. SurveyMonkey Audience doesn’t try to weight its sample based on race or income. Total 1,037 respondents, margin of error plus or minus 3.11 percentage points with 95% confidence level.