40-year-old well-educated women are the happiest workers

A survey of 2,000 employers showed that those working in finance or the public sector were amongst the unhappiest 

Workers most likely to be happy in their jobs are well-educated 40-year-old women, working in a secure industry that offers a good balance between work and life.

A survey of 2,000 employers by a recruiter found that ambitious women were getting the most from work.

Using the results, the firm drew up the profile of a “very fulfilled” worker as a 40-year-old, well educated woman, earning £31,600 a year. She would also have a positive personality, with a sense of vocation in her career.

Results showed that the industries with the most fulfilled workers in general included construction, farming, teaching, social work, hospitality and health.

Meanwhile the sectors which scored the lowest were manufacturing, the public sector, and financial services.

Mark Bull, Chief Executive of Randstad, said: “As the debate about equal opportunities at work continues, it's inspiring to see that women are on top in terms of fulfilment.

“Clearly, not everyone in the UK can be a well-educated, 40-year-old woman, but you don't have to fit the typical profile of a very fulfilled worker in order to reach your full potential and feel more fulfilled in your career.”

His theory for why construction workers were happiest was that they derive “a real sense of satisfaction from seeing a project develop from the ground up”.

He added staff within education, social work and healthcare will have a strong sense of vocation similar to those in construction, and derive satisfaction from helping others.

“All of these characteristics fit the typical profile of a very fulfilled worker,” he said.

Additional reporting by PA