The 10 Most Stressful Industries — and 5 Ways We Cope

Advertising Disclosure: When you buy something by clicking links on our site, we may earn a small commission, but it never affects the products or services we recommend.

Billion Photos /

Americans are so stressed that the majority of us now spend much of our workweek on edge.

That’s according to Paychex, a company that provides human resources services. Its research found the largest share of workers — 25.2 percent — say they spend an average of three days a week stressed.

An additional 15.4 percent spend four days stressed and 11.7 spend five days stressed. That adds up to a majority of us being stressed out most of the time at our jobs.

For its report, Paychex surveyed more than 2,000 full-time U.S. employees ages 18 to 79.

Even the outcome of the recent presidential election has contributed to our stress levels at work. Paychex found:

  • 67 percent of women believe the new presidential administration will impact their work-life balance negatively
  • 58 percent of men believe the same
  • 52 percent of women say they have already had their stress levels affected due to the new administration
  • 36 percent of men say the same

President Donald J. Trump aside, some types of workers experience more stress than others.

For example, when Paychex looked at stress levels by industry, marketing and advertising stood out. On average, workers in that industry spend nearly four days a week feeling stressed.

The 10 industries in which workers experience the most stress are:

  1. Marketing and advertising: Workers in this industry spend an average of 3.84 days per week stressed
  2. Arts, entertainment and recreation: 3.41 days
  3. Wholesale and retail: 3.39 days
  4. Telecommunications: 3.38 days
  5. Military and public safety: 3.35 days
  6. Hotel, food services and hospitality: 3.31 days
  7. Technology: 3.25 days
  8. Publishing, broadcasting and journalism: 3.24 days
  9. Finance and insurance: 3.23 days
  10. Information services and data processing: 3.2 days

Once they get home from work, most workers unwind in front of a screen. The survey found the five most commonly cited ways workers decompress after a day at work are:

  1. Watching TV
  2. Surfing the internet
  3. Getting into comfy clothes
  4. Having a meal
  5. Spending time with family or friends

Evening screen time can lead to insomnia, though. And lack of sleep can increase your stress, according to Harvard Medical School’s Division of Sleep.

For other stress-relieving ideas, check out “Who Needs a Shrink? 8 Cheap Ways to Relieve Stress.”

If money could be contributing to your stress, also check out:

What’s your favorite stress reliever? Share it with us below or on Facebook.

Get smarter with your money!

Want the best money-news and tips to help you make more and spend less? Then sign up for the free Money Talks Newsletter to receive daily updates of personal finance news and advice, delivered straight to your inbox. Sign up for our free newsletter today.