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Janine Milne

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British workers beat the blues

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Blue Monday, the so-called most depressing day of the year, will claim fewer victims this year, as workers say they are happier and more secure in their jobs in 2013.

The third Monday in January, which falls today, has been dubbed the most miserable day of the year.

But despite the cold snap in the weather and the economy adding to the gloominess, data from recruitment specialist Reed suggests workers are actually feeling upbeat.

Three out of four employees described themselves as ‘very satisfied’, ‘satisfied’ or neutral about their jobs at the start of 2013, according to Reed’s 2013 Salary and Market Insight report.

Job security also showed an uptick. At the end of 2011, 28.4% felt ‘unsecure’ or ‘very unsecure’ in their jobs compared to 25.8% as 2013 began.

“The mood among employees and employers often sets the tone for business confidence for the year ahead. So it is encouraging to see this upward trend in satisfaction levels,” said Tom Lovell, group managing director at Reed.

The research revealed that employee benefits had risen in value and frequency and there had been an increase in pay rises and staff entertainment budgets.

Bonuses also looked healthy, with the number of employers paying staff bonuses rising 6.2%. Reed highlighted how the outlook of public-sector workers in particular had improved dramatically over the last few years. While less than half (47%) of public sector workers felt safe in 2011, this figure rose to 63%in 2012.

The idea of Blue Monday, which has become a media favourite, was first put forward by psychologist Cliff Arnall seven years ago. He came up with the data based on six factors: debt, time since Christmas, weather, low motivational levels, feeling a need to take action and time since failing New Year resolutions, which combined to make this day the most dismal of the year.

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