ADP Canada Happiness@Work Index: Happiness of Workers in Canada Takes a Dive in May

Surveyed workers say the high cost of food and groceries and planning for major expenses are raising stress levels at work.

TORONTO, May 29, 2024 – The ADP Canada monthly Happiness@Work Index ("Index") reveals workers are feeling less happy in May than last month and May 2023. Over half (59%) of workers in Canada surveyed report that the cost of living significantly impacts stress levels during the workday.

The National Work Happiness Score for May 2024 is 6.6/10, representing a 0.2-point decrease from April.  

"The May Index reveals a sharp contrast to the gains recorded last month," says Heather Haslam, vice president of marketing at ADP Canada. "With workers in Canada noting economic turmoil as a daily stressor, employers must remain mindful of how external factors may impact their workforce’s well-being. Leading with empathy and encouraging open communication can help support employees when stress levels are high."

May 2024 Happiness@Work Index Highlights

  • National Work Happiness Score:                                               6.6/10 (-0.2) *
  • Indicator Breakdown
    • Primary Indicator:                                                           6.8/10 (-0.1) *
    • Secondary Indicators:
      • Work-Life Balance & Flexibility:                 6.8/10 (-0.1) *
      • Recognition & Support:                                 6.5/10 (-0.2) *
      • Compensation & Benefits:                            6.1/10 (-0.2) *
      • Options for Career Advancement:            6.0/10 (-0.1) *

Forty-four per cent of workers in Canada surveyed feel satisfied with their current roles and responsibilities. All secondary indicators are down this month, with work-life balance & flexibility remaining on top with the highest score.

Boomers (7.1/10) report a notable drop in happiness month-over-month; however, they continue to be the happiest generation. Gen Z follows in second place as the only generation with increasing happiness levels in May.

National Work Happiness Score: Generational Snapshot

  • Boomers (59+):                 7.1/10 (-0.4) *
  • Gen-Z (18-26):                   6.8/10 (+0.2) *
  • Millennials (27-42):        6.5/10 (-0.3) *
  • Gen-X (43-58):                   6.5/10 (NC) *

Regionally, Atlantic Canada and Québec (6.9/10) are the happiest regions, while Alberta (6.3/10) records their lowest score, falling to last place.

Regional Work Happiness Score Snapshot

  • Atlantic Canada:               6.9/10 (-0.2) *
  • Québec:                               6.9/10 (NC) *
  • British Columbia:             6.7/10 (NC) *
  • Ontario:                               6.5/10 (-0.1) *
  • Sask/Manitoba:                6.4/10 (-0.5) *
  • Alberta:                               6.3/10 (-0.5) *

Daily economic stressors are impacting the workplace. Most workers in Canada surveyed (68%) reveal that the rising cost of food and groceries and planning for major expenses (62%) heavily affect stress levels during work hours.

"These findings serve as a valuable reminder to regularly connect with your staff and reassess existing support structures, aiming to cultivate a nurturing environment that fosters employees' growth, both personally and professionally," concludes Haslam.

About the Happiness@Work Index Methodology
The Happiness@Work Index is measured monthly through a survey fielded by Maru Public Opinion on behalf of ADP Canada and is undertaken by the sample and data collection experts at Maru/Blue. The survey is run in the first week of each reported month for consistency purposes and asks over 1,200 randomly selected employed Canadian adults (including both employees and self-employed individuals) who are Maru Voice Canada online panelists to rate workplace factors on a scale from 1 to 10. Discrepancies in or between totals when compared to the data tables are due to rounding. 

The results are weighted by education, age, gender and region (and in Québec, language) to match the population, according to Census data. This is to ensure the sample is representative of the entire adult population of Canada. For comparison purposes, a probability sample of this size has an estimated margin of error (which measures sampling variability) of +/-2.8%, 19 times out of 20.  

The Index will continue to be published on the last Wednesday of the month, with the next scheduled findings due for publication on Wednesday, June 26, 2024. 

About ADP Canada
Designing better ways to work through cutting-edge products, premium services and exceptional experiences that enable people to reach their full potential. HR, Talent, Time Management, Benefits and Payroll. Informed by data and designed for people.

For more information about ADP Canada visit or follow us on Instagram adp_canada.

For further information: 
Hayley Suchanek   
Kaiser & Partners