New Survey Ranks Top 20 U.S. Cities by Worker Fulfillment

Meaningful Work, Workplace Flexibility Among Top Factors

September 25, 2019
NEW YORK — Miami, Orlando and Chicago, followed by Tampa Bay and Houston have the most fulfilled workers among the top 20 U.S. cities by population, according to a new workplace fulfillment index released by SHRM—the Society for Human Resource Management. 

In addition to ranking American cities by worker fulfillment, SHRM’s research found 44 percent of Americans feel extremely or very fulfilled in their current job compared to 56 percent who feel less than fulfilled at work. The new study showed that when it comes to fulfillment, workers value factors like flexibility to manage both life and work issues, opportunity to do meaningful work, and ethical, honest leadership more so than an organization’s commitment to corporate social responsibility, commute time, and the organization’s commitment to community. 

SHRM’s 2019 Workplace Fulfillment Index ranks the twenty most populated metro areas by most to least fulfilled: 

1. Miami (Fla.)
2. Orlando (Fla.)
3. Chicago (Ill.)
4. Tampa Bay (Fla.)
5. Houston (Texas)
6. Philadelphia (Pa.)
7. Los Angeles (Calif.)
8. Phoenix (Ariz.)
9. Detroit (Mich.)
10. San Diego (Calif.)
11. San Francisco (Calif.)
12. Seattle (Wash.)
13. Washington (D.C.)
14. Dallas (Texas)
15. Minneapolis (Minn.)
16. Denver (Colo.)
17. New York (N.Y.)
18. Atlanta (Ga.)
19. St. Louis (Mo.)
20. Boston (Mass.). 

The SHRM 2019 Fulfillment Index examined the 20 most populated metro areas in the U.S. and the San Diego area to determine which cities have the most and least fulfilled workers and which of 26 workplace factors (e.g., supportive leadership, pay, work-life flexibility) individuals say are most important to their fulfillment. Factors were identified as either ‘cultural’ (the type of work, relationships with coworkers) factors or ‘financial’ (pay, benefits) factors.  Fulfilled was defined as those who indicated that they were either extremely or very fulfilled at work. The final rankings for the workplace factors that most contribute to fulfillment at work were calculated using maxdiff ranking methodology. The study was conducted in August 2019 using a non-probability based online panel. A total of 8064 employed workers and individuals looking for work were surveyed. Of these 8064 individuals, 4011 were from the 20 most populous metro areas in the U.S. and San Diego, and 4053 were from a U.S. national sample.

About SHRM
SHRM, the Society for Human Resource Management, creates better workplaces where employers and employees thrive together. As the voice of all things work, workers and the workplace, SHRM is the foremost expert, convener and thought leader on issues impacting today’s evolving workplaces. With 300,000+ HR and business executive members in 165 countries, SHRM impacts the lives of more than 115 million workers and families globally. Learn more at and on Twitter @SHRM.


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