The pressures of the workplace have caused an increase in stress levels for many American workers. While workplace stress has always been present at some level, the statistics on work stress in the United States today are staggering. Recent studies have revealed that work stress is a growing concern among American workers.

Let us take a look at this problem in some detail.


Work Stress Statistics in the US


Key Facts

  • A 2019 research by Wrike found that almost 94% of US workers feel stress at their workplace. This shows a rise of 11% in stress compared to 2013.


  • According to research published by NIOSH, 25% of Americans think their job is their main reason for stress.


  • According to Zippia‘s findings in 2022, the top 3 most stressed states of the US are Florida, New Jersey, and Texas.


  • O*NET published some statistics about the most stressful jobs in the US. The top 3 most stressed professionals were urologists, film and video editors, and anesthesiologist assistants.




  • Health Advocate published a report in 2018, referencing data from the American Association of Psychology (APA), stating that a decrease in productivity due to work-related stress makes businesses suffer a $300 billion annual loss.


What Is Workplace Stress and How Prevalent Is It in the US?

According to the WHO, the definition of stress is any alteration that results in physical, emotional, or mental tension. It is how the body responds to any situation that needs addressing.

The World Health Organization (WHO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations (UN) concerned with international public health. According to them, stress may manifest in the form of the following symptoms:

  • Fear
  • Worsening of an already existing physical or mental condition
  • Disturbance in sleeping
  • Inability to relax
  • Increased use of drugs and alcohol

What Is Workplace Stress and How Prevalent Is It in the US


Gallup, a global analytical firm that gathers data on people’s work and life, stated that global work-related stress was at an all-time high in 2021. Their report said that almost 44% of workers experienced stress daily.

US workers face a similar condition. A 2019 research by Wrike said that almost 94% of US workers feel stress at work. Wrike is a project management and collaboration software company that aims to increase employee productivity.

According to data from an Everest College survey in 2013, the stress rate was at 83%. This means there has been an increase of 11% in work-related stress since 2013.

Everest College is a post-secondary education organization from North America. It prepares its students for advanced careers by researching market trends.

Furthermore, 25% of Americans think their job is their main reason for stress. The above research was published in publication no. 99–10, by NIOSH.

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) is a United States organization that researches work-related injuries and illnesses.


Which States in the US Have the Most Stressed Workers?

Zippia published an article about the most stressed-out states in the US in July 2022. We can use information from this article to answer the question at hand.

Zippia is an online career resource aiding people in finding the right job. They have technology, marketing, and engineering experts who gather stats and information related to work and employment.

They ranked the states as per the following six parameters:

  • Prolonged journey to work
  • Joblessness
  • Number of hours worked
  • The concentration of people in a particular area
  • The ratio of house costs to wages
  • The proportion of people without health insurance

Here are the top 10 states of the US that have the most stressed workers, ranked from the highest to the lowest:

1. Florida

Florida tops the chart with the most stressed workers in the US. The average work time per week was 38.9 hours. The main element that makes this state the most stressed is the large number of uninsured people.

Florida was the fourth most uninsured state in the US. Additionally, a long commute to work is another factor for it being at the top of the list labelling it as the no.1 stressor.

Which States in the US Have the Most Stressed Workers


2. New Jersey

The second most stressed state in the US, NJ, is also one of its densest states. High prices of houses compared to income, long work hours, and long commutes are the main reasons for keeping New Jersey in this position.


3. Texas

Texas had the most uninsured workers in the US. Almost 17% of Texans were uninsured. Moreover, the residents of Texas work more hours than almost any other state of the US, nearly 40 hours per week. The average commute to work was 26.4 minutes.


4. California

The most populous state of the US, California, also falls in the top 5 regarding workers who experience work-related stress. High prices of houses, increased rents, and work hours (38.3 hours per week) are some reasons for the high worker stress in California.


5. Maryland

Maryland, the birthplace of the country’s national anthem, the Star Spangled Banner, comes in 5th position regarding stress. This state has one of the highest work hours per week. Another interesting fact is that Maryland has the second longest work commute in the US.


6. Georgia

Home to one of the world’s busiest airports, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, Georgia, has high work hours (39.4 hours) and long commutes  (28.4 minutes). On top of that, lower education rates fan the fires on high-stress rates.


7. Delaware

One of the most crowded states of the US, Delaware also has high mortgage rates. This is a contributing factor to high work-related stress. Moreover, elevated work hours (38.8 hours per week) also play a role in high stress.


8. Virginia

Virginia’s workers have to work long hours (39.2 hours per week). Similarly, they have long commutes, with their daily commutes being 28.4 minutes.


9. Illinois

The penultimate state in this list has 4 out of the 5 Great Lakes. Illinois residents work 38.6 hours per week, coupled with 29-minute long commutes. Furthermore, this state also has one of the highest unemployment rates in the country.


10. Mississippi

Mississippi has dangerous routes and one of the country’s highest numbers of uninsured workers. On top of that, the unemployment ratio of the area is also towering. These components contribute to the work stress of the employees.


Which Professions/Industries Have the Most Stressed Employees?

For evaluating the industries that harbor the most stressed workers in the US, we can refer to a report by The Occupational Information Network, or O*NET.

The Occupational Information Network (O*NET) is a comprehensive database of occupational descriptions and related data developed by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration (ETA). It provides information on training, education and the labor market.

You can also find the same stats in an article by CNBC, published on November 18, 2022.

CNBC is a news channel that focuses on business and financial news. It provides business news, analysis, financial market coverage, and stock market updates.

According to the report, the following were the most stressful professions in the US:

1. Urologist

Urologists are medical professionals who specialize in diagnosing and treating conditions of the male and female urinary tract and the male reproductive organs. They help treat kidney stones, infections, and urinary system cancers.

With a median annual salary of $208,000 and a stress level of 100, this profession stood at the top of the list of most stressed employees.


2. Film and Video Editor

Film and video editors bring moving images to life through creativity and technical skills. They are responsible for creating something entertaining and meaningful out of raw footage. However, the job was characterized by a stress level of 99 and a median annual salary of $62,680.


3. Anesthesiologist Assistant

Anesthesiologist assistants are vital medical team members who support anesthesiologists in operating rooms. They had a stress level of 98 and earned a median annual salary of $121,530.


4. Judge

Judges are highly respected professionals with the challenging job of evaluating disputes and passing judgements. It is a stressful job, with a reported stress level of 98, but a median annual salary of $148,030 makes it a desirable career.


5. Telephone Operator

As a Telephone Operator, you are the customers’ first contact. You handle all incoming calls professionally and courteously. However, at 98, telephone operators faced a high-stress level. Yet, with a median annual salary of $37,630, this is a great job for an individual at an entry level.


6. Acute Care Nurse

Acute care nurses work in fast-paced, high-pressure environments where they care for acutely ill patients. They are well-compensated, with a median annual salary of $77,600 but a stress level of 97.


7. Obstetrician and Gynaecologist

Obstetricians and gynaecologists are highly trained medical professionals who provide specialized care to women during pregnancy and childbirth.

This challenging field comes with a high-stress level of 97 but also offers quite a rewarding annual salary of $208,000.


8. Public Safety Telecommunicator

Public safety telecommunicators are responsible for responding to emergency calls and dispatching help. They have a very important role in public safety and face high stress at 97 points. Despite this, they earn a median annual salary of $46,670.


9. First-line Supervisor of Retail Sales Workers

A career as a first-line supervisor of retail sales workers is highly engaging and rewarding while also being quite stressful. The median salary was $39,230, and the stress level was 96.


10. Nurse Anesthetists

Nurse Anesthetists provide anesthesia care to patients before, during, and after surgery. Their work is rewarding, with a median annual salary of $195,610. However, the job is highly stressful, with a stress level of 96.

occupations with the most stressed employees

The above stats about occupations with the most stressed employees present an interesting picture. 5 out of 10 jobs were related to the health care association, which is already known as one of the most stressed professions globally.

Furthermore, we have also seen that workers get satisfactory salaries in some professions, like judges or urologists, but they face high-stress levels. In contrast, high-stressed industries like phone operators or first-line supervisors have low wages.


Which Age Group is the Most Stressed Out?

Stress has always been present no matter what a person’s profession or country is, but how do it and its different causes vary with age?

To answer this, we can refer to a survey by the American Psychological Association conducted in October 2018. It provided statistics on the most stressed generations in relation to Gen Z.

According to this survey, the most stressed age group was Millennials, with an average stress level of 5.7 (on a scale of 1 to 10). The same generation was also the most stressed regarding the country’s current state, at 5.6. Following the prior mentioned, the most stressed generations regarding the nation’s state were Gen X (5.5), Gen Z (5.4) and Boomers (5.0), respectively.

Now, if we want to compare these stats against previous trends, we can look at a report by Deloitte Greenhouse. Deloitte Greenhouse helps individuals to overcome barriers in the way of their business progress.

With the help of Business Chemistry, Deloitte Greenhouse surveyed 2,725 professionals from 2013-2016. Business Chemistry is an analytical tool developed to provide insights about humans and teams based on their behavior. Here are the takeaways from the results of that survey:

  • Millennials were the most stressed working professionals.
  • They divided Millennials into four groups; Guardians (Loyals), Integrators (Diplomatist), Drivers (Focused), and Pioneers (Risk takers).
  • Further analysis shows that Millennial Integrators (40%) and Guardians (38%) faced the most stress.
  • On the other hand, Millennials Drivers (28%) and Pioneers (26%) faced the least stress.
  • Conflict, economic turndown, and terrorism were the primary reasons for Millennial stress.

Which Age Group is the Most Stressed Out

Millennials had the most work-related stress. On a scale of 1 to 10, their overall stress levels were 5.7, while stress levels regarding the country’s state were 5.6. Among them, Integrators and Guardians were the groups who faced the most stress, 40% and 38%, respectively.


Causes of Workplace Stress

As per Zippia post published in late 2022, the following is the summary of causes of workplace stress:

Workplace-related stress comes from factors like:

    • Work-life imbalance – 39% of employees said their workload was the main cause of stress.
    • Difficulty in communication – Ineffective communication with the organization was a reason for work-related stress for 80% of workers.
    • Tense relationships with employers or management – 80% of workers said that a change in leadership affects their stress levels.

Similarly, another post by the American Psychological Association, updated in July 2018, stated, “Everyone who has had a job has, at some point, felt the pressure of work-related stress.” The APA describes the following as the causes of workplace stress:

1. Low Salaries

Low salaries can be a significant cause of stress in the workplace. Employees may feel undervalued and may need help to meet their financial obligations. This leads to increased stress levels.


2. Excessive Workloads

Another cause of workplace stress can be excessive workloads. It can cause job burnout, frustration, and a decrease in productivity.


3. Few Opportunities for Growth and Advancement

Lack of growth opportunities can induce work-related stress. Employees with limited chances to develop their skills and advance their careers can become disengaged and unhappy.


4. Work That Isn’t Engaging or Challenging

Interestingly, easy work can also lead to stress. It can cause a lack of motivation, job satisfaction, and long-term career goals.


5. Lack of Social Support

Social support at the workplace is essential for maintaining a healthy work-life balance. In its absence, employees may feel isolated, leading to increased stress levels. This can come in various forms, including lack of recognition of work, limited resources, or lack of communication between colleagues.


6. Not Having Enough Control Over Job-Related Decisions

When employees are not given adequate control over their job-related decisions, they may feel powerless and unable to meet their expectations. They may experience feelings of frustration and helplessness.


7. Conflicting Demands or Unclear Performance Expectations

Having conflicting demands can be another work-related stress source. Without proper guidance, workers may struggle to meet expectations, leading to failure and anxiety.

Causes of Workplace Stress


The Impact of the Pandemic on Worker Stress

The pandemic significantly impacted workers’ stress in the US. With numerous job losses and the abrupt shift to remote work, many people faced an uncertain future.

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) concluded in a report that financial instability and unemployment rates were at their highest in 2020 since 1976.

Many US states, including Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, and Kansas, faced unemployment like never before.

Impact of the Pandemic on Worker Stress

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) is a governmental agency within the US. It is one of the most authoritative economic and labor market information sources in the United States.

Due to the lingering effect of the pandemic, there has been an increase in stress and anxiety levels among workers. Many workers were bound to work from home. They felt burnout, fatigue, and stress due to longer work hours and a lack of boundaries between work and personal life.


The Consequences of High Worker Stress

Worker stress is a serious issue that can negatively affect the individual and the organization.

An article by the American Association of Psychology report (APA), updated in 2018, stated a stressful work environment could cause the following problem:

  • Headache
  • Stomach ache
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Short temper
  • Difficulty concentrating

Moreover, chronic stress, a severe form of stress, can lead to the following consequences:

  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • High blood pressure
  • A weakened immune system

Citing a report published by APA in 2015 states disclosed that stress also hit Americans financially. As per this research, staying absent from jobs because of depression (absenteeism) caused the US to lose $23.3 billion annually.

Similarly, HealthAdvocate published a report in 2018 on the financial losses due to work-related stress. This report tells us that a decrease in productivity because of stress-related illnesses costs businesses almost $300 billion yearly.

HealthAdvocate is an independent healthcare advocacy and assistance service. They provide personalized assistance with understanding health plan benefits.


The Impact of Stress on Women

Stress can significantly impact women’s physical, emotional, and mental health. Women are more likely to experience stress than men due to a combination of traditional gender roles, social pressures, and biological differences.

The symptoms of stress in women can be different compared to men, as shown below:

1. Physical Symptoms

Stress can affect women’s physical appearance and cause migraines and headaches. These results were deductive from the Oxford Academic research paper by Khorat Farooq & Peter Williams on Aug. 01, 2008.

Oxford Academic is a research publication platform with articles, papers, and publications from worldwide authors.


2. Emotional Symptoms

Work-related stress can also cause emotional symptoms in women, such as anxiety, depression, irritability, anger, and mood swings.


3. Mental Health-Related Symptoms

Stress in women could result in forgetfulness, loss of short-term memory, negative thinking, and lack of focus.


4. Social Symptoms

Symptoms such as a lack of social stigma, family problems, isolation, and less intimacy can occur. The above information was collected from a Cleveland Clinic post published on Feb 13, 2019.

Impact of Stress on Women

Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical centre located in Cleveland, Ohio. It is ranked among the top hospitals in the United States. This organization is a leader in patient experience, medical research, and innovation.

As per a 2022 survey from Deloitte, women feel high levels of stress and burnout, despite shifting work arrangements. According to this survey:

  • 53% of women said their stress levels were higher than last year.
  • 46% of women experienced burnout at their workplace.


How to Handle Workplace Stress?

While it is essential to recognize the causes and impact of stress, it is also important to understand how to handle it.

1.    Identify the Triggers

Mayoclinic, in its article published on June 16, 2021, describes the first step in handling workplace stress is to recognize the cause of stress.

Identify the negative triggers that can affect you, like people, places, and situations. On top of that, you must find the apparent cause of stress.

These could be the workload, fear of losing the job, the uncertainty of the future, and long commutes. Once these signs have been recognized, it becomes easier to take action to reduce the stress.


2.    Communicate

Effective communication is essential to handle workplace stress. Communicating with colleagues and managers regarding workloads, deadlines, and expectations is required. If a problem arises, address it openly and directly.


3.    Take a Break

Taking breaks throughout the day helps to reduce the stress of the workplace. It is essential to step away from work, relax and clear your mind.


4.    Set Boundaries

Setting boundaries helps to manage stress. Prioritize tasks and set realistic goals to manage workload.


5.    Know When to Seek Help

Seeking help from a supervisor or mentor can help to reduce stress. Identify the right person who can provide guidance and support.


6.    Set Realistic Goals

It is necessary to set realistic goals and expectations. Unrealistic expectations can lead to frustration and additional stress.

How to Handle Workplace Stress


7.    Relaxation Techniques

Some other effective ways to handle work-related stress are to practice relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing and meditation.

As Harvard Medical School explained in one of their posts, published in April 2019, you can reduce the fight or flight mechanism of the body by allowing for a more relaxed state of mind.


8.    Take Care of Your Negative Thoughts

Moreover, assessing your negative thoughts is essential. Stress and tension can develop when the worker starts seeing everything through negativity.

Therefore, it is equally vital to reappraise your negative thoughts by treating them as suppositions, not realities.


9.   Look Out for Your Health

Finally, taking care of one’s health is crucial. This includes getting enough sleep, eating a balanced diet, and exercising regularly. Taking care of one’s health can help to reduce stress levels and improve overall well-being.

Recognising the signs and symptoms of stress, taking action to reduce stress, and taking care of one’s health can effectively manage workplace stress. Doing so can help to improve both mental and physical well-being, as well as improve job performance.



Overall, work stress in the US is a serious issue affecting many workers. America has always been a gold mine for work-related opportunities. However, these opportunities also pose some serious mental health issues.

Almost 94% of Americans feel stress at their jobs. 25% of the workers say that their jobs are one of the main reasons for their stress.

Work-related stress was at its highest in Florida, New Jersey, and Texas.

Lastly, there could be many reasons for work-related stress, which need to be addressed accordingly. By taking the necessary steps, employed employees can help reduce work stress in the US.