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GfK Verein: Trust in Professions Report 2016


The Trust in Professions Report 2016 based on a global study conducted by GfK Verein encompasses the empirically researched trust placed in over 30 professions. While trust in so called undisputed professions, such as firefighters, doctors or craftsmen remains stable in 2016, occupations such as bank assistants, retailers or sellers as well as judges and policeman are mid-table in the rankings. Politicians are globally ranked on an extremely low level of trust. The Trust in Professions Report 2016 is based on around 30.000 consumer interviews conducted in 27 countries.

Compared with 2014, the level of trust felt in Sweden for the professional groups investigated has increased slightly by 2 percentage points to 69 percent. The top of the 2016 ranking is once again occupied by firefighters and paramedics, who are each trusted by 98 percent of the population. The strong trust expressed in these professions was presumably strengthened in summer 2014 by the tireless efforts of all the rescue workers involved in fighting the worst forest fires to rage in the country for decades. Positions 3 and 4 are occupied by nurses and pilots, who each have a trust rating of 95 percent. Following close behind them are farmers, who with growth of 4 percentage points now stand at 93 percent. The trust placed in doctors has also risen, climbing 6 percentage points to 92 percent. Civil servants are also enjoying the same level of increase but still find themselves at the lower end of the ranking with just 62 percent. With a plus of eight percentage points, the greatest increase in trust is recorded by insurance agents, who, despite this improvement, are still positioned in the bottom third of the list.

Politicians are once again at the lower end of the scale, where they occupy third-to-last place with a virtually unchanged score of 23 percent. Recent political disputes may have contributed to this ranking, as the work of Sweden's minority government, which comprises a coalition between the Social Democrats and the Greens, has been systematically hampered by the other parties since it was formed in autumn 2014. The conservative opposition only agreed to tolerate the government after difficulties passing the 2015 budget almost prompted new elections to be called. This has once again isolated the right-wing populist Sweden Democrats, which had been successful during the previous election.

With 22 percent, advertising specialists rank lower than politicians. Swedes are perceptibly more sensitive to discriminatory advertising than they once were, which is a possible reason for the poor performance of professionals working in this field. With 17 percent, retailers and sellers occupy last place. This, the lowest rating to be achieved by retailers across all the countries surveyed, could, however, be attributed to the fact that mail order and online delivery services are used extensively in sparsely populated Sweden. Consumers often also place orders abroad, which results in cases of fraud occurring on average more frequently than in European countries where bricks-and-mortar retail plays a greater role.

About GfK Verein
The GfK Verein was established in 1934 as a non-profit organization for the promotion of market research. Its membership consists of approximately 600 companies and individuals. The purpose of the Verein is to develop innovative research methods in close cooperation with academic institutions, to promote the training and further education of market researchers, to observe the structures and developments in society, the economy and politics that play a key role in private consumption, and to research their effects on consumers. Survey results are made available to the membership free of charge. The GfK Verein is a shareholder in GfK SE.

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