Job satisfaction has shown a surprise increase across UK workplaces during the autumn, according to the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development’s quarterly Employee Outlook survey, suggesting that the ‘fixed grin’ phenomenon identified by the survey during the recession has returned.

The survey of over 2,000 employees represents a bleak picture of employee attitudes throughout the UK, following the £81bn of cuts to public spending announced by the Government in the Comprehensive Spending Review. In the public sector, one in four workers believe it is likely they will lose their jobs and 63% say stress has increased as a result of the economic downturn, compared to 54% last quarter.

Despite this gloomy outlook, job satisfaction has climbed across sectors to a net score of +42 from +35 for the previous quarter. This suggests that, against a backdrop of government spending cuts, many people, particularly public sector employees, are grateful just to have a job