A survey by global image consultants Edelman has found that Indians are significantly more worried about losing their jobs than people in any other country, while those in Japan, Saudi Arabia, Netherlands and Germany are the least worried.
The survey, which was conducted among 34,000 people in 28 countries, also found that Indian companies were among those least trusted ‘to do what is right’, along with companies from countries such as Mexico, Brazil and China. On the other hand, global brands from countries like Germany and Canada were the most trusted, followed by those from Switzerland and Japan.
However, one of most worrisome results of the survey was the extreme pessimism reflected among respondents from India.
82% of the respondents in India were worried that they would lose their job due to the emergence of the ‘gig economy’, while 80% from India felt that they might lose their job due to a coming recession. Gig economy refers to the replacement of traditional workers by contract laborers and part-time workers.
These numbers are, by far, the highest recorded from all the 28 countries that were part of the survey conducted late last year.
For comparison, the percentage of respondents who were worried about gig economy in China was 65, while only 62% in that country were worried about losing their job to a recession.
Besides India, the only other region where there were high levels of economic pessimism was South America, with 71% in Mexico and 74% in Colombia were worried about a recession taking away their jobs.
Among the most confident people were those in the Netherlands, where less than half seemed worried about losing their jobs, as well as those in Japan, Germany, Saudi Arabia and surprisingly, the UK, which is about to exit the European Union.
The US too reflected a high degree of optimism, with only 49% of the respondents worried about the recession, compared to 80% in India.
The survey also quizzed the respondents about how much they trust companies from a certain country to do the right thing.
69% of the respondents across the globe had a high opinion of German and Canadian companies, followed by Swiss (68%) and Japanese (67%) companies.
On the other extreme were companies from Latin America, India and China.
Only 33% of the respondents believed that companies from Mexico can be relied on to ‘do what is right’, while only 37% trust companies from Brazil.
These were followed by China and India, with only 38% of the global respondents believing that companies from these two countries could be relied on to do what is right.
South Korean companies are trusted by 47% of the respondents, while US companies are trusted by 53% (see chart above).
The survey also indicated a high degree of distrust and disenchantment with capitalism, with Thailand and India showing the most distrust.
75% of respondents from Thailand believe that capitalism, as it exists today, does more harm than good, while 74% in India share that belief.
Surprisingly, more people in China, a “communist country”, have faith in capitalism than in India. Only 63% of the people China felt that capitalism was causing more harm than good.
Japan had the highest proportion of people who still had faith in capitalism, with only 35% of the respondents having a negative assessment of capitalism (see chart).