"A butcher's life is just smiles better..."

BUTCHERS ARE among the happiest workers in the UK, according to the City and Guilds Happiness Index, which is compiled annually to track the satisfaction of the country's workforce.

Vocational workers are happiest in their jobs, with beauticians coming top of the poll followed by builders, care assistants, chefs, and DJs.

Britain's vocational workers also top the list of 'satisfied' workers, in terms of work-life balance.

Andrew Green, of Wilsons of Crossgates in Leeds, said that although running a butcher's shop involved long working hours, the enjoyment he got from the job more than made up for it.

Philip Cranston, of Cranston's butchers in Hexham, said: "It's not as bad as the catering industry, where people are working split shifts, but it does involve Saturday and sometimes Sunday hours. The work-life balance depends on how a person organises themselves. Butchers have an exceptional sense of humour, though, and generally love working with and dealing with people."

Keith Brooker, director of group markets and products at City & Guilds, said the work-life balance was a relatively new term for an age old concern. "Often, in spite of rating themselves as happy, far fewer workers in the UK consider themselves to have a good work-life balance. The relationship between these two factors is complex and warrants further study but it is perhaps a warning to all employers that levels of satisfaction in this important area are low."

Cranston said he thought it was easier for those working in manual jobs to switch off from work.

The research shows that workers' levels of happiness has increased from last year among most professions.

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