Farmers among happiest workers, survey shows

Farmers are among the happiest workers in the country, according to a new government survey.

Results from the government’s first ever National Well-being survey, published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), showed that people who worked in farming, forestry and fishing were happier than others.

According to data, 20 different sectors were ranked on their “mean life satisfaction”. And the study, published today, found that people who work in “agriculture, forestry and fishing” were top of the list.

Farmers were followed in the top third of the satisfaction list by “people working in mining, quarrying”, “real-estate activities”, “electricity and gas supply” and “water supply, sewerage and waste”.

Surprisingly, those in “arts, entertainment and recreation”, whose jobs involved cheering up others, expressed less job satisfaction than bankers and insurers. But bottom of the list were those working in “admin and support services”, “transport and food services” and “wholesale repair of vehicles”.

Commenting on the survey results, LEAF chief executive Caroline Drummond said: “It’s really encouraging. It really does reinforce for farmers that they have got a good lot in life. With farming, you live and breathe your job, so for those that are happy, the reason is a rounded life.”

Charles Smith, chief executive of the Farm Crisis Network, said: “Farming is a very fulfilling job and most farmers are in it because they love the lifestyle. Personally, I can’t think of anything better than working outdoors with nature.

“However, farmers have many other things to contend with, such as the vagaries of weather, animal diseases, and the recent lowering of milk prices.

“But thankfully, farmers are very resilient, which works in their favour. That’s why when times are tough, they continue farming.”

Colin Rayner, a Berkshire farmer and mayor of the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead, said: “Farmers do get a lot of job satisfaction, but we also get equal amounts of frustration having to deal with paperwork and the bureaucracy being sent to us by successive governments over the past few years.

“This detracts from our main aim of producing good, healthy and locally sourced food that the public wants.”

In 2010, Prime Minister David Cameron tasked the ONS with finding out how happy Britons are. Ministers want to use the information to help young people make more informed choices about their careers.