In these tumultuous times of ‘horror Budgets’, slippery politicians and weakening Consumer Confidence, many Australians are expecting tough times ahead. While overall Consumer Confidence has taken a dive since the Federal Election (and even more so since Joe Hockey’s Budget was handed down), there’s no doubt that certain sectors of the population are feeling less confident than others. This is especially evident among different professions...
In the 12 months to April 2014, 73.4% of the population felt either confident or very confident*, its lowest level since July 2013. (Suffice it to say, the remaining 26.6% are not feeling confident.)
Confident — and not-so-confident — consumers by profession
However, consumer confidence levels among people working in certain occupations are significantly higher than the national average. Few would be surprised to learn that the most confident group is comprised primarily of CEOs and General Managers (79.2%), the kind of highly paid and powerful professionals traditionally supported by Liberal governments. They are closely followed by people employed in the Food Trades (78.2%) and Business, HR and Marketing Professionals (78%).
Consumer confidence by profession, April 2014
Source: Roy Morgan Research Single Source (Australia), May 2012-April 2013, n=49,105
Conversely, some professions are not feeling so confident. Least confident of the lot — as they have been for several years — are Farmers and Farm Managers (63.5%). With the unpredictable Australian climate directly impacting on their livelihoods, this is understandable. Factory Process Workers (65.2%) and Health and Welfare Support Workers (66.2%) are also feeling less than rock solid.
Back in 2010, before Labor’s leadership spill, these figures looked quite different. In the 12 months to April 2010, Business, HR and Marketing Professionals were the most confident group (85.4%) ahead of ICT (Information and communications technology) Professionals (84.6%) and CEOs and General Managers (84.2%).
Consumer confidence by profession, April 2010
Source: Roy Morgan Research Single Source (Australia), May 2009-April 2010, n=52, 159
As the table above indicates, the confidence levels for the five most confident professions in 2010 were significantly higher than the current five.
While Farmers and Farm Managers were already entrenched as the least confident occupation (66.3%) by April 2010, even they were more confident back then.
Norman Morris, Industry Communications Director, Roy Morgan Research, says:
“The relatively high consumer confidence among CEOs, General Managers and other business professionals makes sense when you consider that these are among the occupations that tend to benefit most from a conservative government. It is also consistent with recent business confidence levels, which have been generally positive since last year’s Federal Election.
“However, these professions were even more confident back in 2010, when there was no Commission of Audit or extreme budget hanging over them.
“While ICT professionals have much to be confident about, given the essential role of new technologies in Australian life, it’s possible that their fall from second to fifth place is due to their frustration with the problem-plagued NBN. Meanwhile, burgeoning confidence among food trades workers may be the result of Australia’s great foodie obsession, and all the business and employment opportunities it has brought with it.
“On the other hand, the least confident occupations tend to be poorly paid and in industries that may have been affected by mass redundancies or lack of government support. The biggest change in this respect has been among Factory Process Workers, whose consumer confidence has plummeted from 76.8% in 2010 to 65.2% in 2014.
“Meanwhile, despite the Abbott government’s assistance package to drought-stricken farmers earlier this year, it hasn’t been enough to restore their confidence.
“We would expect consumer confidence levels to fall further among most professions after May, once the full effects of the Budget are absorbed…”
Roy Morgan Research
Roy Morgan Research is Australia's best known and longest established market research and public opinion survey company. Roy Morgan Single Source is thorough, accurate, and provides comprehensive, directly applicable information about current and future customers. It is unique in that it directs all the questions to each individual from a base survey sample of around 55,000 interviews in Australia and 15,000 interviews in New Zealand annually - the largest Single Source databases in the world. The questions asked relate to lifestyle and attitudes, media consumption habits (including TV, radio, newspapers, magazines, cinema, catalogues, pay TV and the Internet), brand and product usage, purchase intentions, retail visitations, service provider preferences, financial information and recreation and leisure activities. This lead product is supported by a nationally networked, consultancy-orientated market research capability.
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