JOB WORRIES MEN : 13% vs 11% : WOMEN
18 months ago, when we asked Irish people what causes them the most stress, 36% said "money worries."
In June 2015, paying bills is still Ireland's greatest concern but less people are now worried about paying bills (31%).
The percentage (12%) of people concerned about employment has fallen in line with unemployment rates suggesting increased job security is reducing stress, however men (who are more likely to be unemployed) are more concerned than women about keeping their job.
Family and health concerns are also a main cause of worry for Irish people.
Smaller percentages of people are concerned about other areas, which we will observe as growing concerns for Irish people:
- Increased taxes: 6% (vs. 5% Jan 15)
- Property prices: 6% (vs. 3% Jan 15)
- Euro failure: 5% (vs. 1% Jan 15)
1 in 3 people have concerns about paying bills.
Women make up 60% of those who worry about the future of their family.
Over 55 year olds are 50% more likely to be concerned about health than the average Irish
Single people are more likely to be concerned about job employment
Different worries across our lives.
Concerns by lifestage
By segmenting by age, we can see how people move from different concerns over their life-time. While the the ability to pay bills is a consistent concern for Irish people, those in their twenties and thirties are more likely to be concerned about getting or keeping a job than worrying about the future of their family. With unemployment rates for 15-24 year old adults declining from 27.2% in June 2014 to 19.8% in June 2015, we will observe if job security remains as a key importance for young adults.
Health concern for over 55 year olds
When we look at parents of this generation (over 55 year olds), job security is no longer a worry, but health becomes an increasing focus of concern. In January, the waiting lists in hospitals were the top news stories (according to our ig score), indicating the importance this generation puts on their health.
While there remains to be over 600,000 people who believe "the economic situation is bad and this year will be worse than last year", there are over 1 million Irish people who agree that "the economic situation is improving and this year will be a bit or far better than last year."
While Pessimists are 17% more likely than Optimists to claim they know "a lot" about the current economic situation there are also 6.5% of Pessimists who claim they know "nothing at all" about the situation compared to just 1.7% of Optimists.
The Impact on our Personal Finances
This sentiment has a direct impact on how people describe their personal finance situation with 49% of Optimists claiming they are "doing ok" in comparison with just 12% of Pessimists.
Age, gender, and relationship status have little impact on whether people are optimistic or pessimistic about the future of Ireland. The key difference is when people classify where they live as a city, town or rural area.
% of group living in area
It is key for Government, organisations and brands to acknowledge the divide between those living in cities versus those living in rural towns. There is a growing sense that towns are not developing at the same rate as our main cities. Investment into commerce, cultural capital and communities will be crucial to drive the level of positive sentiment in Irish towns.
Loosening the Belt
The knock-on effect of those feeling more optimist is quite impactful. 39% of those feeling optimistic plan to spend more in the next 12 months compared to 68% of those feeling pessimistic who plan to tighten the belt in the next 12 months.
Those who do feel like they have additional money claim they would put more into savings, holidays and the home, while debt pay off is crucial for those less optimistic about the future.
What would you do with additional money?
How to Reach Real Recovery?
As we approach the final budget of the current Government ahead of the General Election, what approaches will be made and who will be targeted? It is evident from our research that there is a divided mindset within Ireland. 1 in 5 believe they are struggling while another 1 in 5 will loosen the belt in the next 12 months.
The clear difference is not life-stage but geography and addressing the concerns of Irish town dwellers will be crucial. Supporting those in debt and the 1 in 3 people who worry about money is an important step towards real recovery in Ireland.
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