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Morale is low, say quarter of U.S. employers in poll

By Ellen Wulfhorst

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Almost a quarter of U.S. employers say morale among workers at their companies is low, according to a survey released on Tuesday.

Among workers, two out of five had trouble staying motivated at work in the last year and a quarter do not feel loyal to their employer, according to the survey of employers and workers for CareerBuilder.com, an online jobs site.

Asked what could be contributing to low morale, two in five workers said stress levels were high, and about half said their workload has increased in the last six months.

"Low morale levels are an unfortunate side effect of this recession," said Jason Ferrara, vice president of corporate marketing for CareerBuilder, in a statement.

Also, nearly two out of five workers said they saw departmental favoritism at work, and a quarter said they did not think their department is important to senior leadership.

In 2008, a quarter of workers, about the same as in the current survey, also said they did not feel loyal to their employer. The question of morale was not included in any earlier CareerBuilder survey.

The online survey was conducted August 20 to September 9 by Harris Interactive on behalf of CareerBuilder.com among 2,924 full-time hiring managers and human resource professionals and among 4,285 full-time adult U.S. workers.

The results had a margin of error of plus or minus 1.81 percentage points among hiring managers and human resource professionals and plus or minus 1.5 percentage points among the workers.

CareerBuilder is owned by Gannett Co. Inc, the Tribune Co., The McClatchy Co. and Microsoft Corp.

(Editing by Michelle Nichols and Phil Barbara)