The happiest and unhappiest cities for workers

It’s no surprise that most of America's unhappiest places to work have frigid winters or sweltering summers. Unwelcomed snowstorms and dreaded heat waves can affect worker happiness, but so can income, workplace environment, co-workers and career opportunities (or lack thereof).

“Happiness is based on a multitude of factors,” says Matt Miller, chief technology officer and co-founder of CareerBliss, an online career site. “It is clear that employees need not only a positive and rewarding work culture, but opportunities to grow within their company and their city.”

This list of the happiest and unhappiest cities to work in, compiled by CareerBliss, is based on analysis of more than 36,000 independent employee reviews between Nov. 2011 and Nov. 2012.

Yahoo! Homes is publishing the top five in each of happiest and unhappiest cities to work in; to see the rest, go to Forbes.com:

Employees all over the country were asked to evaluate ten factors that affect workplace happiness. Those include one’s relationship with the boss and co-workers, work environment, job resources, compensation, growth opportunities, company culture, company reputation, daily tasks, and control over the work done does on a daily basis.

They evaluated each factor on a five-point scale and also indicated how important it was to their overall happiness. The numbers were combined to find an overall rating of employee happiness for each respondent, and then they were sorted by geographic location to find the happiest and unhappiest cities for employees. (These aren’t necessarily the “best” and “worst” cities to live in; they’re simply the places where workers are most and least happy right now, according to CareerBliss data.)

CareerBliss also compiled a less gloomy list: The Happiest Cities To Work In.

If you’re hoping to smile more at work, think about moving to Knoxville, Virginia Beach or St. Louis. Those are three of the happiest places to work.

“The people you work with has a great impact on happiness,” Miller says. “In the cities that ranked highest, co-workers and one’s direct manager had a great influence on how that city fared compared to others.”

“Bigger is not always better when it comes to finding happiness,” says Heidi Golledge, chief executive and co-founder of CareerBliss. “Even mid-size cities can provide rewarding and positive work environments for people.”

She says everyone should be able to find a job that truly makes them happy. “Through our unique tools, three million jobs, company reviews and salary information, we want every person who is looking for a job in 2013 to be equipped with the resources they need to find true career bliss,” Golledge concludes.


The Happiest Cities To Work In

No. 5 Pittsburgh, Pa.

  • Overall score: 3.96
  • The Company You Work For: 4.15
  • The Culture of Your Company: 3.80
  • The Growth Opportunities Available To You: 3.25
  • The People You Work With: 4.21
  • The Person You Work For: 4.13
  • The Place You Work: 4.02
  • The Rewards You Receive: 3.66
  • The Support You Get: 3.82
  • The Way You Work: 4.30
  • The Work You Do: 4.27


No. 4 Memphis, Tenn.

  • Overall score: 3.99
  • The Company You Work For: 4.17
  • The Culture of Your Company: 3.85
  • The Growth Opportunities Available To You: 3.39
  • The People You Work With: 4.28
  • The Person You Work For: 4.03
  • The Place You Work: 3.97
  • The Rewards You Receive: 3.88
  • The Support You Get: 3.93
  • The Way You Work: 4.21
  • The Work You Do: 4.24


No. 3 Honolulu, Hawaii

  • Overall score: 4.00
  • The Company You Work For: 4.16
  • The Culture of Your Company: 3.80
  • The Growth Opportunities Available To You: 3.40
  • The People You Work With: 4.38
  • The Person You Work For: 4.05
  • The Place You Work: 4.09
  • The Rewards You Receive: 3.74
  • The Support You Get: 3.97
  • The Way You Work: 4.16
  • The Work You Do: 4.18

No. 2 Knoxville, Tenn.

  • Overall score: 4.02
  • The Company You Work For: 4.13
  • The Culture of Your Company: 3.92
  • The Growth Opportunities Available To You: 3.08
  • The People You Work With: 4.44
  • The Person You Work For: 4.13
  • The Place You Work: 4.06
  • The Rewards You Receive: 3.66
  • The Support You Get: 4.01
  • The Way You Work: 4.51
  • The Work You Do: 4.19

No. 1 Dayton, Ohio

  • Overall score: 4.02
  • The Company You Work For: 4.16
  • The Culture of Your Company: 3.82
  • The Growth Opportunities Available To You: 3.40
  • The People You Work With: 4.33
  • The Person You Work For: 4.28
  • The Place You Work: 4.03
  • The Rewards You Receive: 3.72
  • The Support You Get: 3.90
  • The Way You Work: 4.27
  • The Work You Do: 4.31

The Unhappiest Cities to Work In:

No. 5 Little Rock, Ark.

  • Overall score: 3.70
  • The Company You Work For: 4.03
  • The Culture of Your Company: 3.49
  • The Growth Opportunities Available To You: 2.98
  • The People You Work With: 4.12
  • The Person You Work For: 3.80
  • The Place You Work: 3.80
  • The Rewards You Receive: 3.44
  • The Support You Get: 3.60
  • The Way You Work: 3.80
  • The Work You Do: 4.00

No. 4 Fresno, Calif.

  • Overall score: 3.69
  • The Company You Work For: 3.66
  • The Culture of Your Company: 3.52
  • The Growth Opportunities Available To You: 3.13
  • The People You Work With: 4.04
  • The Person You Work For: 3.72
  • The Place You Work: 3.80
  • The Rewards You Receive: 3.54
  • The Support You Get: 3.69
  • The Way You Work: 3.79
  • The Work You Do: 3.96

No. 3 Wichita, Kan.

  • Overall score: 3.65
  • The Company You Work For: 3.93
  • The Culture of Your Company: 3.47
  • The Growth Opportunities Available To You: 2.93
  • The People You Work With: 4.15
  • The Person You Work For: 4.04
  • The Place You Work: 3.64
  • The Rewards You Receive: 3.10
  • The Support You Get: 3.49
  • The Way You Work: 3.77
  • The Work You Do: 4.00

No. 2 Reno, Nev.

  • Overall score: 3.61
  • The Company You Work For: 3.73
  • The Culture of Your Company: 3.37
  • The Growth Opportunities Available To You: 3.06
  • The People You Work With: 4.05
  • The Person You Work For: 3.71
  • The Place You Work: 3.58
  • The Rewards You Receive: 3.40
  • The Support You Get: 3.55
  • The Way You Work: 3.78
  • The Work You Do: 3.85

No. 1 Boulder, Colo.

  • Overall score: 3.45
  • The Company You Work For: 3.58
  • The Culture of Your Company: 3.36
  • The Growth Opportunities Available To You: 2.81
  • The People You Work With: 3.90
  • The Person You Work For: 3.42
  • The Place You Work: 3.41
  • The Rewards You Receive: 3.29
  • The Support You Get: 3.44
  • The Way You Work: 3.66
  • The Work You Do: 3.67


Yahoo! Homes is publishing the top five in each of happiest and unhappiest cities to work in; to see the rest, go to Forbes.com:

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