Positive perceptions about local job prospects over the next 12 months increased in the first quarter of 2014 in every region around the world except in Latin America, according to Nielsen’s latest Global Survey of Consumer Confidence. Almost half of global respondents (49%) believed the job market would be good or excellent in the upcoming year, up 2 percentage points from year-end 2013. The biggest quarterly surge in job optimism came from North America, increasing 5 percentage points to 43 percent. Asia-Pacific respondents were most optimistic about employment opportunities, as 64 percent believe job prospects were favorable for the year ahead.
An optimistic outlook for future job prospects also increased in the Middle East/Africa (40%) and Europe (28%), rising 1 and 3 percentage points, respectively. In Latin America, the trend was slightly downward: 42 percent of respondents had positive perceptions for employment opportunities, compared with 43 percent in fourth-quarter 2013.
Another optimistic sign that better times are ahead is a declining recessionary sentiment. More than half of global respondents (55%) felt mired in recession in the first quarter, up from 57 percent in the previous quarter.
Regionally, recessionary sentiment improved most in North America, down 7 percentage points to 61 percent, the lowest level since the start of the recession. While nearly three-quarters (73%) of respondents in the Middle East/Africa region felt affected by the recession, the sentiment was an improvement from 75 percent in fourth-quarter 2013. Sixty-nine percent in Europe, 62 percent in Latin America and 43 percent in Asia-Pacific believed they were in an economic recession in the first quarter.
More than two-thirds (68%) of markets measured by Nielsen reported an improved recessionary sentiment in the first quarter, with the steepest improvements in the United Arab Emirates (-11 percentage points), Switzerland (-11pp) and Peru (-10pp). Recessionary sentiment also improved by 9 percentage points in Mexico, Vietnam, Romania and New Zealand and by 8 points in the U.S. and the Netherlands.
The report also covers:
For more detail and insight, download Nielsen’s Q1 2014 Global Consumer Confidence Report.
The Nielsen Global Survey of Consumer Confidence and Spending Intentions was conducted Feb. 17-March 7, 2014 and polled more than 30,000 online consumers in 60 countries throughout Asia-Pacific, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, Africa and North America. The sample has quotas based on age and sex for each country based on their Internet users, and is weighted to be representative of Internet consumers and has a margin of error of ±0.6%. This Nielsen survey is based only on the behavior of respondents with online access. Internet penetration rates vary by country. Nielsen uses a minimum reporting standard of 60 percent Internet penetration or 10 million online population for survey inclusion. The China Consumer Confidence Index is compiled from a separate mixed methodology survey among 3,500 respondents in China. The sub-Saharan African countries in this study are compiled from a separate mobile methodology survey among 1,600 respondents in Ghana, Kenya and Nigeria. The Nielsen Global Survey, which includes the Global Consumer Confidence Index, was established in 2005.