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Brits doubtful the UK will fully bounce back from hard times

London, 10 December 2013 - Today, a new survey reveals just one in five Britons (20 percent) believe the UK will come back from economic hardship as competitive as ever. This is despite recent news that unemployment figures have fallen to a three-year-low of 7.6 percent.*

The research, which was carried out by Monster.co.uk and GfK, an independent international market research company, studied the varying levels of optimism in seven countries. The international survey polled more than 8,000 workers including almost 2,000 in the UK, asking: "In the face of economic hardship, how would you rate your country’s resilience/competitive spirit to arise from it?"

Britain’s younger generations are the most doubtful with only one in six (16 percent) under-35 year-olds saying that the UK will become as competitive as ever, compared to 22 percent of those aged over 35.

The research also shows that income impacts on British optimism. While three in ten (29 percent) of the UKs top earners think that the country will come back as competitive as ever, this number slides to 21 percent of medium earners and just 17 percent of those on low incomes.

"The recession set back UK labour market growth and affected opportunities for younger workers in particular, so it’s understandable that many Brits don’t feel too optimistic about the country’s competitive spirit," commented Andy Sumner, Managing Director, Monster UK & Ireland.

"That said, it seems as though we have recently turned the corner, with unemployment falling and wages edging upwards. Regardless of market conditions it’s important for jobseekers to try and be positive and keep looking for better, which we believe is out there."

Who has the most industrious workforce?

The survey also asked respondents to rate their and other countries’ workforces on the trait of industriousness (meaning hard-working, innovative and constantly creating new ideas and products). The results show that although three in five Brits (59 percent) think their own workforce is industrious, the remainder are not so convinced. In comparison, China is rated the most industrious nation: 80 percent of UK respondents consider the Chinese workforce hard-working. Germany is close behind with 76 percent.

"We aren’t a nation giving to boasting, and our general fondness for cynicism could explain why some respondents are keen to downplay the country’s strength," said Sumner. "However, OECD data shows that Brits have some of the longest working hours in Europe, so you might expect that more UK respondents would rate their workforce as industrious. Those Brits who really don’t consider the UK an industrious nation might think about whether their own work environment influences this view – if they don’t feel inspired by the attitude of their fellow workers, it may be time to find a better job."

- ENDS -

For further information please contact:

Megan Landauro or Sophie Mansfield
3 Monkeys Communications
020 7009 3100

Notes to editors

* Office of National Statistics July-September 2013 report.

Survey data

The UK’s resilience/competitive spirit as seen by Brits:

- 20 percent - My country will come back and be as competitive as ever
- 23 percent - My country will come back and be slightly less competitive than before
- 23 percent - Will come back, but it will not be as competitive as before
- 25 percent - My country has the potential to come back, but I don’t know if we will ever be as competitive
- 10 percent - My country will never come back

Ranking of most industrious nations according to Brits:

1. China
2. Germany
3. U.S.
4. Canada
5. India
6. UK
7. Netherlands
8. France

About the Survey

Surveying over 8,000 people in Canada, France, Germany, India, Netherlands, UK and US, this survey was conducted using GfK’s GLOBOBUS, a monthly global omnibus study.

In the UK, the data was collected using Computer Assisted Personal interviews to maximise participation and representativeness of respondents, including younger and older adults. The total UK sample size is 1,968.

About Monster UK

Monster.co.uk is the UK arm of Monster, the worldwide leader in successfully connecting people to job opportunities.

From the web, to mobile, to social, Monster helps companies find people with customised solutions using the world's most advanced technology to match the right person to the right job. With a local presence in more than 40 countries, Monster connects employers with quality job seekers at all levels, provides personalised career advice to consumers globally and delivers highly targeted audiences to advertisers.

To learn more about Monster UK, visit http://hiring.monster.co.uk or http://monster.co.uk.

You can also keep up to date with its news via the Monster UK Facebook channel https://www.facebook.com/monster.co.uk or by following @Monster_UK on Twitter https://twitter.com/Monster_UK.

About GfK

GfK is one of the world’s largest research companies, with more than 13,000 experts working to discover new insights into the way people live, think and shop, in over 100 markets, every day. GfK is constantly innovating and using the latest technologies and the smartest methodologies to give its clients the clearest understanding of the most important people in the world: their customers. In 2012, GfK’s sales amounted to €1.51 billion. To find out more, visit www.gfk.com

GfK Public Affairs & Corporate Communications is a division of GfK. The group specialises in customised public affairs and public opinion polling, media and corporate communications research, and corporate reputation measurement in the US and globally. In addition to delivering a broad range of customised research studies.
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