Aussies less worried about housing, more about unemployment



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New research released from Roy Morgan indicates that Australians are more worried about unemployment than they are about house prices, though interest rates and the economy are also on their minds.

As part of a telephone survey of a cross-section of 648 Australian men and women aged 14 or over in May 2017, Roy Morgan found that in mid-2017, 38% of respondents were concerned about an economic issue – that’s 3% more than the previous quarter, but 4% less than at the same time last year.

What are the economic issues on Australia’s mind?

Of the economic issues facing Australians, the top three most on the minds of those surveyed were:

  • Unemployment – 8.8% of respondents were concerned by a lack of jobs, fewer opportunities for younger people, and the impact of immigration and robots on job availability.
  • Economy and interest rates – 7.5% of respondents were worried about interest rates, high debt and deficit levels, lack of Australian industries, and the impact of the wider global economy.
  • Housing affordability – 5.8% of respondents were concerned about soaring house prices widening the gap between the nation’s haves and have nots, as well as the impact of overseas buyers on the housing market.

Other major economic concerns of those surveyed included poverty and the gap between rich and poor (3.7%), cost of living, rising prices and inflation (2.1%), the Federal Budget (2.1%) and homelessness and lack of housing (1.9%).

Approximately 6% of respondents were concerned about a wide range of other economic issues, ranging from taxation to infrastructure to overpopulation, with no individual issue on the minds of more than 1% of those surveyed.

Money and politics

The Roy Morgan research also correlated the economic concerns of Australians with their federal voting intentions, and found different patterns in the results. Economic worries were more on the minds of LNP voters (49%), while ALP voters were closer to the national average (39.1%), and fewer Greens supporters (24.3%) were as concerned about the economy.

Issue May 2017 LNP voters ALP voters Greens voters Independent/Other voters Can’t say
Unemployment 8.8% 11.7% 9.8% 4.8% 4.9% 16.3%
Economy/Interest Rates 7.5% 14.6% 3.6% 9% 1.3%
Housing Affordability 5.8% 5.1% 7.1% 4.1% 7.6% 5.6%
TOTAL ECONOMIC/FINANCIAL ISSUES 37.9% 49% 39.1% 24.3% 36.4% 30.7%

Source: Roy Morgan

Housing affordability more on the minds of city dwellers

According to Roy Morgan CEO, Michele Levine, Australians have been primarily concerned about the economy ever since February 2011, when environmental issues were briefly the frontrunner.

“In mid-2017 more Australians mentioned Economic issues (38%) than the next three sets of issues combined (35%).”

“Driving the concerns in Australia are Unemployment – mentioned by 9% of respondents, The Economy in general and Interest rates mentioned by 8% and Housing affordability mentioned by 6% of respondents. This is the highest ever national figure for Housing affordability and the increase is concentrated in Australia’s capital cities (mentioned by 8%) rather than regional Australia (mentioned by just 2%). Unsurprisingly, Sydney is the most impacted with Housing affordability mentioned by 12% of respondents cf. Melbourne (7%) cf. Brisbane (10%).”

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