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People less stressed about work than before, says survey

How upbeat are Irish people about the economy? A new report says 42pc of Irish consumers believe the economy has stabilised and is shaping up to be the same as last year. But what's the story with the other 58pc? Well, Ignite Research has come up with findings pointing to what's been on people's minds.

When Ignite asked adults what caused them most stress 18 months ago, 36pc said "money worries". By June this year, the rate had dropped back to 31pc.

People's concern at being unemployed has fallen in line with jobless numbers, suggesting greater job security is reducing stress.

Men and young people tend to get most anxious about being jobless.

With unemployment rates among 15-24s down from 27pc in June last year to almost 20pc this summer, Ignite's Finian Murphy (inset right) says they will be watching this space.

Other concerns include family and health issues, increased taxes, property prices and euro failure. One-in-three adults worry about paying bills and women worry most about their families.

Among over-55s, job security is less a worry than health concerns. With hospital waiting lists making headlines during the winter, it places health as a top priority.

Age, sex and whether someone is single or not has little impact on how people see Ireland's future prospects. The big influence comes down to where people live - be it in a city, town or rural area.

The report says towns are not moving ahead at the same rate as the main cities.

Michael Cullen is editor of marketing.ie; cullen@marketing.ie