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Quality of Employment Survey, 1972-1973 (ICPSR 3510)

Principal Investigator(s): Quinn, Robert P.; Mangione, Thomas W.; Seashore, Stanley E.


This study contains data on the working conditions of 1,455 workers aged 16 and older who were working for pay for 20 or more hours per week in the United States in the period 1972-1973. This survey is the second undertaken by the investigators to provide an overview of working conditions in the American labor force. The aims of this survey and many of the questions that were asked were comparable to those of the related collection, SURVEY OF WORKING CONDITIONS, 1969-1970 (ICPSR 3507). Among the major aims of this survey were: (1) assessment of the frequency and severity of work-related problems experienced by employed people in general and by major demographic and occupational subgroups, (2) identification of major demographic or occupational groups that were most affected by these problems, (3) development of valid measures of job satisfaction suitable for use with samples of workers in heterogenous occupations and under a variety of conditions, (4) assessment of the impact of working conditions upon the well-being of workers, especially their physical and mental well-being, and (5) establishment of normative statistics that might permit other investigators to compare their data from more limited subsamples of workers with national norms. The major measures used in both surveys were the frequency and severity of labor standards problems, the quality of employment indicators that were shown to be predictors of job satisfaction, the job satisfaction indices themselves, and the ratings of important job facets. Respondents were asked questions about many facets of their job situations and other areas of their lives that might be affected by their jobs in order to assess the impact of work on them. Questions included job tension, security, physical health, job satisfaction, and financial well-being. A series of questions regarding job expectations were also asked. Additional questions probed respondents' feelings about their relationship with their supervisors and their overall contentment with their jobs and with life in general. This survey differs from the earlier survey in the greater emphasis that was placed on questions related to respondents' physical health, drinking habits, and career development. The structured interview schedule contained both closed and open-ended questions. Many of the open-ended questions were directed at estimating the frequency and type of labor standards problems, such as those with unions, discrimination, physical working conditions, wages, and work schedules. Demographic variables provide information on age, sex, race, education, and income.

Access Notes

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Study Description


Quinn, Robert P., Thomas W. Mangione, and Stanley E. Seashore. Quality of Employment Survey, 1972-1973. ICPSR03510-v1. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 1975.

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  • EndNote XML (EndNote X4.0.1 or higher)


This study was funded by:

  • United States Department of Labor. Employment Standards Administration
  • United States Department of Health and Human Services. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health

Scope of Study

Subject Terms:    career development, career expectations, employee benefits, employment, health status, job expectations, job satisfaction, job stress, labor force, labor (work), life satisfaction, occupational safety and health, occupations, wages and salaries, work, work environment, workers, workplaces

Geographic Coverage:    United States

Time Period:   

  • 1972--1973

Universe:    A national probability sample of 1,455 currently employed workers aged 16 and older who were working for pay for 20 or more hours per week in the period 1972-1973.

Data Type(s):    survey data

Data Collection Notes:

1) See the related collections, QUALITY OF EMPLOYMENT SURVEY, 1973-1977: PANEL (ICPSR 7696), and QUALITY OF EMPLOYMENT SURVEY, 1977: CROSS-SECTION (ICPSR 7689). 2) The codebook is provided by ICPSR as a Portable Document Format (PDF) file. The PDF file format was developed by Adobe Systems Incorporated and can be accessed using PDF reader software, such as Adobe Acrobat Reader. Information on how to obtain a copy of the Acrobat Reader is provided on the ICPSR Web site.


Data Source:

personal interviews


Original ICPSR Release:   1984-05-10

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