Having a job, not amount of salary key to happy life

Updated: Jan 10, 2011, 18:26 PM IST

London: Having a job is more important to Britons than how much they are paid, according to a new survey.

The poll, by the Office for National Statistics, has revealed the things that matter most to people in this economic climate - job security, family relationships and health, reports the a daily.

The ONS analysed responses from more than 2,000 people to Prime Minister David Cameron’s initiative to measure the nation’s well-being.

Other key ingredients of a happy life were parents’ sense of the security of their children’s future, with couples keen that their children have a good life and a nice place to live; the freedom of society; and spiritual and religious beliefs.

Respondents were more likely to rate having a job as important to them than being paid a high salary.

Anastasia de Waal, a social policy analyst at the think-tank Civitas, said employment was central to people’s sense of identity and well-being.

“A job is about your life, it is not about your income".

“People’s lives fall apart if they don’t have a job. They are much more likely to be depressed if they are out of work, and there is a strong relationship between unemployment and family breakdown and health difficulties,” she said.

Paul Allin, of the wellbeing project at the ONS, said the initiative would combine objective data, such as crime, employment and life expectancy rates, with subjective measures, such as fear of crime, job satisfaction and self-reported health, to give ‘a more complete picture of national well-being’.