Under Happy Survey: Round 2

Everybody’s favourite word to describe “not happy but also not unhappy” is back, in a more specialised survey conducted by Achieve Group in November and December last year.

This time, we get to find out how many employees are “under happy”, split by industries!



Take note that only HR professionals were asked to judge their employees’ happiness levels and the survey is in no way indicative of actual employee happiness.

Breakdown of happiness levels by industry

happiness level


Most happy:

1. Banking & Finance, 60%
2. Shipping & Logistics, 56%
3. Oil & Gas, 54%

Most under happy (lol):

1. Healthcare & Pharmaceutical, 58%
2. Property & Construction, 50%
3. Industrial Manufacturing & Engineering, 46%

Most unhappy:

1. IT & Telecommunications, 18%
1. Professional Services, 18%
3. Shipping & Logistics, 16%

Least proportion of happy:

1. Healthcare & Pharmaceutical, 30%
2. IT & Telecommunications, 46%
3. Lifestyle, Retail & F&B, 50%

Regardless (or because?) of general under-happiness, the healthcare and pharmaceutical industry is looking to hire more folks this year. Good news for the jobless.


The national index had Singaporeans pegged at 59%, which is “under happy”. The category is supposed to represent some glass-full/glass-empty analogy, but I’m on the “this term is stupid” camp.

We know at least that those in the Banking & Finance industry are for the most part happy or neutral, since only 2% are outright unhappy.

We also know that national averages do not tell the whole story as every industry is lumped together. With this second survey, we are now able to tell which industries are facing more unhappy workers and these industries can then work on making their employees happier.

Those low in the Happy band (Healthcare & Pharmaceutical, IT & Telecommunications, Lifestyle, Retail & F&B) may wish to consider some of the options below to save their workplace from becoming a cesspool of negativity.



Featured image via Stephen Day
With references from Achieve Group