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2020 Edelman Trust Barometer Reveals Growing Sense of Inequality Is Undermining Trust in Institutions

NEW YORK, Jan. 19, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- The 2020 Edelman Trust Barometer reveals that despite a strong global economy and near full employment, a majority of respondents in every developed market do not believe they will be better off in five years' time, and 56 percent believe that capitalism in its current form is now doing more harm than good in the world. "We are living in a trust paradox," said Richard Edelman, CEO of Edelman. "Since we began measuring trust 20 years ago, economic growth has fostered rising trust. This continues in Asia and the Middle East but not in developed markets, where national income inequality is now the more important factor. Fears are stifling hope, and long-held assumptions about hard work leading to upward mobility are now invalid." The concerns are wide-ranging and deep. Most employees (83 percent) globally are worried about job loss due to automation, a looming recession, lack of training, cheaper foreign competition, immigration and the gig economy. Fifty-seven percent of respondents worry about losing the respect and dignity they once enjoyed in their country. Nearly two in three feel the pace of technological change is too fast. And there is no agreed-on truth; 76 percent say they worry about fake news being used as a weapon. A record number of countries are experiencing an all-time high "mass-class" trust divide, spreading from developed into the developing world. Globally, there is a 14-point gap between the informed public (65) and the mass population (51). There are double-digit gaps in 23 markets, including Australia (23 points), France (21 points), Saudi Arabia (21 points), Germany (20 points), the UK (18 points) and Spain (17 points).Business (58 percent) is the most trusted institution, taking the lead role in global governance. The recent decisions by the Business Roundtable to endorse a stakeholder model for American multi-nationals, the initiation of Business for Inclusive Growth focused on fair wages by French multi-nationals and the Business Ambition for 1.5A°C recognize the broader responsibility of the corporation.
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