Research by Roy Morgan has found that 32% of Australians believe the economy or some kind of economic issue to be the most important problem facing Australia in early 2018, with concerns around the cost of living (10%), unemployment (7%), and Poverty and the gap between rich and poor (5%) featuring prominently:
In early 2018, 32% of Australians believe the economy or some kind of economic issue to be the most important problem facing Australia…
Economic issues were mentioned by more Australians than any other two themes combined. 14% mentioned Religion, Immigration and Human Rights issues and a further 14% mentioned Government, Politics and Leadership issues while 13% mentioned Social issues and 11% mentioned Environmental issues…
Within the group of Economic & Financial issues the most important issues are:
Financial problems, economy and the cost of living mentioned by nearly 10% of respondents: Verbatim comments about this theme were centred around concerns about the cost of living with ‘everything’ becoming more expensive, the lack of wages growth, struggling families with increasing utilities bills, economic instability and financial insecurity and money problems, and the problems of housing affordability with too many investors inflating house prices.
Unemployment mentioned by over 7% of respondents: Unemployment verbatim comments ranged from the lack of jobs and employment opportunities available, job insecurity with permanent jobs replaced with contractual positions, and issues with automation.
Poverty and the gap between rich and poor which was mentioned by 5% of respondents: Verbatim comments referred to inequality and the economic disparity with the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer with big business effectively running the country, and potential social fragmentation due to these wage imbalances.
According to Michele Levine, CEO of Roy Morgan:
“Driving the concerns in Australia are Financial problems, the economy and cost of living concerns including housing affordability mentioned by nearly 10% of respondents and Unemployment – mentioned by more than 7% of respondents.
“Today’s Roy Morgan March unemployment release shows that although the Australian economy is generating jobs it’s not growing fast enough to reduce the number of Australians looking for work or looking for more work. In March more than 2.5 million Australians were either unemployed or under-employed and more detail on Australian real unemployment is available to view here.
“Other Economic concerns mentioned include Poverty and the gap between rich and poor mentioned by 5% of respondents, Foreign ownership and investment and selling our assets mentioned by 2% and homelessness and the lack of housing mentioned by 2% of respondents and a series of minor economic issues mentioned by a further 6% of respondents.
“Interestingly there is a clear gender split on the two main economic issues with the leading economic issue mentioned by women clearly being unemployment on 10%, but mentioned by under 5% of men while over 13% of men mention Financial problems, economy and cost of living compared to just 6% of women. This differential is likely due to the higher proportion of women that work part-time (nearly 50%) than men (under 25%) and would like to work longer hours or in more secure employment – borne out by respondents verbatim comments analysed above.
“Analysing by Federal voting intention shows it is supporters of the L-NP (38%) and Independents and Others (39%) that are most likely to nominate an Economic issue as the most important problem facing Australia – and this is a trend we’ve seen in previous analysis of Australia’s most pressing economic concerns a year ago. In contrast 31% of ALP supporters and only 22% of Greens supporters are concerned about Economic issues.
“The leading Economic issue according to L-NP supporters is Financial problems, economy and cost of living mentioned by 12% of L-NP supporters led by 8% mentioning the Economy in particular followed by 7% mentioning Unemployment. ALP supporters are most concerned about Poverty and the gap between rich and poor mentioned by 9% of respondents just ahead of Unemployment on 8%. Greens supporters have a similar view to ALP supporters with nearly 13% mentioning Poverty and the gap between rich and poor and nearly 9% mentioning Unemployment.”