February 1, 2011 / 3:41 PM / 8 years ago

Unemployment, poverty top global worries: poll

NEW YORK (Reuters Life!) - Unemployment, poverty and social injustice are the top global concerns and most people think their country is heading in the wrong direction, according to a new poll.

People wait to enter a government job centre in Madrid, October 4, 2010. REUTERS/Andrea Comas

The Ipsos/Reuters survey of 18,676 adults in 24 nations in Asia, Africa, Europe and North and South America also showed that only a third of global citizens are ‘satisfied’ with the way things are going in their own country.

The lack of jobs was a bigger concern than corruption and financial scandals except in India, Indonesia and South Korea, and trumped healthcare in all countries apart from Brazil and Canada.

“Global worries have not changed since 2010,” said John Wright, senior vice president and managing director at Ipsos, said in an interview.

He found two of the findings particularly interesting.

“First even though unemployment and jobs is at the top of the list, the most ubiquitous issue is really poverty and social inequality,” he explained, adding it was among the main four concerns in 23 countries.

“The second thing that was really revealing was in terms of how badly off Europe is ... France and the UK and most of Europe, except Germany, is in such a dire circumstance in terms of where people think their country is at and where it is going.”

By contrast the majority of residents of China, Saudi Arabia, Brazil, Indonesia and India are confident in the direction their country is headed.

Residents were most pessimistic in Italy, Japan, France, Belgium and Spain.

Brazil and India are the only two nations in which lack of jobs was not mentioned among the top four major worries, while the United States was the sole nation in which poverty was not mentioned.

Taxes were a big concern for residents in Belgium, Canada, France and the United States, while education was a leading topic in Australia, Mexico and Turkey.

Terrorism was on the minds of people in India and Turkey and immigration control was mentioned in the top four only by people in Britain.

“If you have social inequality and high demand for jobs and governments that are only getting one in 10 people saying they are heading in the right direction, then clearly those politicians are going to be looking at great unrest in those countries,” Wright explained.

Egypt, where President Hosni Mubarak is clinging to power amid demonstrations against the poverty and repression of his 30-years in power, was not included in the poll, nor were Algeria and Tunisia, where protests led to the ousting of President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali.

Residents of Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Great Britain, Germany, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Poland, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Turkey and the United States were questioned for online poll.

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