The survey conducted by Harris-Decima Research on behalf of Ceridian Canada suggests there are significantly more workers than last year who believe they will not be getting a pay boost, bonus or promotion in the next year.
And four in 10 say they believe their employer is using the bad economy as an excuse to deny them a promotion or more money.
The level of dissatisfaction was somewhat surprising given that on the question of whether respondents felt secure in their job, 75 per cent said they were "extremely secure" or not concerned about losing their job.
"There were some surprising findings," said John Cardella, Ceridian's vice president of human resources.
"Canada hasn't been as hard hit as some other countries, but having said that, the fact that one in three are dissatisfied with their career progression clearly state that employers need to do more if they want to retain their top talent."
He points out that 27 per cent of the respondents who said they were unsatisfied had left their job as a result.
Harris-Decima polled 800 employed Canadians in early March.
Ceridian, a human resources solutions provider, said one of the interesting findings is that employees who are given performance reviews tended to be more satisfied. Cardella said that is likely because they felt "connected" to the business.
The survey found on the job satisfaction indicators, there has been a dramatic shift downward in attitudes.
Eighty-five per cent of the 800 polled say they don't expect a promotion for another year, compared to 39 per cent in 2011, and 43 per cent say they don't expect a salary increase, compared to 27 per cent 12 months ago.
Overall, 31 per cent expressed dissatisfaction with their career progression, eight percentage points higher than a similar survey conducted in 2011.