Two fifths of the public are concerned about unemployment as concern about the economy loses its salience
The April Economist/Ipsos MORI Issues index shows that, this month, two fifths of the public (40%) place unemployment among the most important issues facing the country, the highest level of concern in over thirteen years, as the unemployment rate reaches its highest level in seventeen years. This is an increase in concern of 4 percentage points since last month, and for a fifth of the public (19%) it is the single most important issue facing the country. Those who are more concerned about this issue include those aged 18-24 (47%) and Labour voters (49%).
The economy remains the issue of greatest concern, however, mentioned by over half (55%) of the public as an important issue facing Britain. However, this is the lowest level of concern since June last year and, as was the case last month, the ‘lead’ that this issue has over other issues has eroded, and the gap, of 15 percentage points, is now the smallest since September 2008.
Around a fifth are concerned about race relations/immigration and crime/law and order (21% and 20% respectively). Though there is less general concern about the economy, there is increasing concern about two specific areas related to it; a fifth are now concerned about inflation/prices (18%), the highest since March 2011, and the percentage of the population concerned about fuel is also at the highest since March 2011; fieldwork started on 30th March as the panic buying started to subside.
Ipsos MORI's Issues Index is conducted monthly and provides an overview of the key issues concerning the country. Ipsos MORI interviewed a representative quota sample of 989 adults aged 18+ across Great Britain. The questions are spontaneous - i.e. respondents are not prompted with any answers. Ipsos MORI's Capibus vehicle was used for this survey. Interviews were conducted face-to-face in-home between 30th March – 10th April 2012 at 164 sampling points across Great Britain. Data are weighted to match the profile of the population.