Study: One in twenty workers are in useless jobs or ‘bullshit jobs’ — far fewer than previously thought. However, David Graeber was right to link people’s attitudes towards their jobs to their psychological wellbeing, and this is something that employers—and society as a whole—should take seriously.

Read the Story

Show Top Comments

Only 1 in 20? I thought it would be a lot more.


I look at all the useless stuff sold in Dollar Stores and think about the entire resource extraction and supply chain that exists to employ people to sell this crap.


This would be a great research article if more data was used and the terms were better defined to the participants. How would someone determine their job was useless if they arent given context as to why a job may be useless, it’s all just based on what…one or two questions in a survey. If a BS job was defined and then participants questioned with that definition in mind, this study make have turned out vastly different. Really Cambridge?


It’s possible to have a valuable and useful job in an industry that is of no net good to the world.


The change in survey question, **”How frequently do you have the feeling of doing useful work”**, is so significantly different from Graeber’s, **”Do you feel your work makes a meaningful contribution to the world?”** that I fail to see how this is an adequate defeater. When I was engaged in useless labor I never once felt I was doing useless work. I never felt anything. I was emotionally numbed by that jobs. And despite having no useful work to do I did a lot of useful things. I snuck books into spreadsheets and read them while pretending to look at data. This would prevent me from answering “Never” on this survey because I was doing useful work *for me* so I never felt otherwise. But I literally never did a single thing in that job. To Graeber’s question I would say No.