Germans were the least concerned about unemployment in a survey released on Thursday of 25 countries worldwide. Just 15 percent of German respondents said that unemployment was a top worry in their country, according to the latest study by market research firm Ipsos, which surveyed more than 18,000 people worldwide..
In contrast, Spain was the most worried about a lack of people in employment, with 70 percent of Spaniards listing it as significant, followed by Italy (66 percent) and South Africa (58 percent).
Percentage of respondents who found “unemployment and jobs” most worrying in their country
Click image above to see bigger version. Source: Ipsos.
Of course, this difference probably has much to do with the unemployment rates in each country and their economic realities following the 2008 financial crisis: Germany had a seasonally adjusted unemployment rate of 4.2 percent in August, compared to about 20 percent in Spain, according to Eurostat.
Unemployment was the top concern globally with 38 percent of all respondents listing this as a significant issue, followed by financial or political corruption (33 percent), poverty and social inequality (33 percent), crime and violence (30 percent), healthcare (22 percent) and terrorism (21 percent).
Over the past six years, unemployment has been the biggest worry worldwide, though it’s level of concern has dropped from more than 50 percent in 2010.
Germany ‘on the wrong track’
While Germans may be optimistic about employment in their country, they had quite a negative view of the overall direction in which the nation is heading. The majority – 71 percent – said that Germany was on “the wrong track”.
This meant there was a higher number of Germans pessimistic about their own country’s direction than in places like Poland (68 percent), Israel (66 percent), the US (64 percent) and Turkey – which experienced a failed coup over the summer and a subsequent crackdown on perceived dissidents by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
And despite Germans’ nonchalant attitude towards unemployment, they listed their top worry as poverty and social inequality, with 45 percent of respondents giving this as a concern.
The second biggest issue for Germans was immigration control, named by 41 percent of respondents, and the third biggest concern was terrorism at 37 percent. Only the UK was more worried about immigration control than Germany at 42 percent of Brits listing it as a major issue.
A quarter of Germans were worried about the rise of extremism, making the Bundesrepublik the country with the third-highest level of concern about this topic, behind only the United Kingdom and Belgium.