A down economy can contribute to lower job satisfaction in several ways. Many employees who have been downsized often find themselves in jobs that pay the bills. These are jobs that they would not ordinarily take and perhaps do not compensate them to the level in which they were previously accustomed. Furthermore, after a company has downsized, the work does not go away. Often, one person fills the role of multiple prior employees and does not reap any additional benefits.
Take a look at this recent Gallup report: U.S. Job Satisfaction Struggles to Recover to 2008 Levels