The kununu Insights Report: The state of employee satisfaction so far in 2017

Sofia Kathryn Coon

The March US jobs report the Bureau of Labor Statistics released just a few weeks ago fell quite short of the expected goal of 180,000 new jobs, instead reaching only 98,000 new jobs for the month. Retail jobs alone fell by 30,000, however, this doesn’t come as a total surprise considering the number of retail store closings announced early this year by Sears, Macy’s, JC Penney, Game Stop and a number of other big box retailers.

While everyone else waits for the economy to make a turnaround by summertime, we here at kununu took a proactive approach and compiled our own jobs data from 25,000 anonymous employee reviews collected between January 1, 2017 and March 31, 2017.  

What we discovered is that there’s a silver lining about the early 2017 jobs market that the US Jobs report doesn’t show you –

Even though the number of new jobs is down, overall employee satisfaction is trending upwards across almost all industries, states, and work-life factors. 

How do we know this? The thousand of reviews we collected. Our reviews help us understand employee satisfaction over several different workplace categories including company culture, work-life balance, gender equality, salary satisfaction and support from management, which we break down across industry, company, and state rankings in our latest report.

See our most interesting findings below and download our full insights report here.

More people feel secure in their positions

While job security had lower ratings overall compared to other workplace categories, the average star rating for job security across all companies went up from 2.07 to 2.35 between January and March of 2017. 

Gender Equality is headed in the right direction

Gender equality continues to receive the highest ratings compared to other workplace categories (an average of 2.95 across the three-month period), followed by workplace safety (2.91), and challenging work (2.77). All categories saw an increase in overall average score in March compared to January, indicating an uplift in employee sentiment.

Human Resources is the most satisfied industry in the US

Our latest data shows a significant overlap between overall company satisfaction and job happiness. Overall company satisfaction includes all 18 workplace categories, while job happiness is a specific score average of four rating categories: support from management, challenging work, office/work environment and teamwork.

For both rankings, the top three industries were the same: human resources came in at the top, with tax consulting / auditing (surprisingly) in second place, and arts / culture / entertainment in third place.

Human resources comes in on top for overall company ratings with an average star rating of 3.61, tax consulting/auditing comes in second place with an average star rating of 3.41, and arts/entertainment comes in third at 3.45.

And when it comes to specifically job happiness, human resources comes in on top with an average star rating of 3.59, tax consulting/auditing comes in as second happiest industry with an average star rating of 3.27, and arts/entertainment is third happiest at 3.06.

Idaho or Ida-happy?

When comparing all of our reviews by state, Idaho won out in Q1 2017 by a significant margin, bringing in an average star rating of 3.44.

Maine came in second at a 3.15 and Utah pulled into the third place spot (just over Louisiana by a .02 margin) with a 2.98 star average.

Every review on kununu is a snapshot of an employee’s (or former employee’s) work-life at a particular company. Not only is this a valuable opportunity for reviewers to share honest, constructive feedback to their employers, but companies and job seekers can freely use these insights to help them make better work-life decisions.

This insights report data represents only a portion of the total reviews we’ve gathered, assured for quality and made freely available online at Get company insights of your own or share your experience.


For questions about this report, please contact Sofia Kathryn Coon, US PR Manager at