Workers in the catering, leisure and retail sectors are the least satisfied at work, while those in healthcare and education have the most job satisfaction, research has shown.
Almost six million workers feel unfulfilled in their jobs and are likely to jump ship when the economy improves, according to the study by people development firm SHL.
The survey of more than 1,000 adults found one in five rarely or never felt fulfilled at work, with younger people faring the worst. A quarter of those between 16 and 35 experienced a lack of job satisfaction and said they did not feel they were in the right job, compared with 17% of the general population, and said they were considering a change of career when the economy improves.
David Leigh, chief executive of SHL, said: "Lack of job fulfilment and job fit will have an impact on employee engagement, motivation and productivity, and this is not something that employers can afford in the current economic climate."
Meanwhile, vulnerable workers have access to a new helpline for advice about their workplace rights under plans unveiled by business minister Pat McFadden.
The Pay and Work Rights helpline (0800 917 2368) has been developed in co-operation with employers, trade unions and enforcement agencies as part of a wider campaign to raise awareness of workplace rights.
National minimum wage, working time, employment agency standards and licensing are among the topics open for discussion.
McFadden said the helpline was critical for ensuring employee rights are properly enforced.
"We are determined that the recession does not become an excuse to deny people their basic rights at work," he said.
By Emma White
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