moneyThe Society for Human Resource Management conducted its annual survey on job satisfaction and the results may not necessarily surprise you: 96 percent of employees indicated compensation was “important” or “very important.”

This makes it the numero uno factor in overall job satisfaction. In fact, money trumped job security and opportunities to use skills/abilities. During the recession it sounds like job security and opportunities beat out pay but now that the job market’s on the uptick, money is top of mind.

Per a piece on Fortune, director of SHRM’s research center Evren Esen noted, “Incomes have grown slowly during the recession, and that undoubtedly is having an impact on workers’ priorities.”

Interestingly enough, as different as the generations are, they all ranked pay as first or second of importance similar to the varying categories of worker ranging from hourly to professional and middle management. The only group who didn’t mention pay? Senior executives. (Maybe that’s because they’re compensated well? Hmmm.)

Perhaps pay is a sticking point as many workers haven’t experienced a bump in salary in quite some time. One in three survey participants revealed they’re not getting paid competitively with the local market. And more than half of respondents were dissatisfied with how employers handled performance bonuses and spot awards.