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SCAR Mood Monitor December 2015

Australians remain the happiest they’ve been in 2.5 years.
This report tracks the mood of Australians and discovers how Aussies are feeling right now, what influences their mood and what’s currently worrying them.
The KEY INSIGHTS from this report are:
- For those that are feeling happy at the moment, it seems to be derived from putting their lives into perspective and recognising that they’re better off than other countries and people
- Money is the biggest worry for Australians at the moment with 56% believing they’re paid less than what they should be
- Crime & violence and illegal immigration are two of the key issues facing Australians they are becoming increasingly worried about
For more information contact the scaresearchdepartment@sca.com.au

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SCAR Mood Monitor December 2015

  1. 1. How Australians are feeling right now Issue 6 : Results from October 2015
  2. 2. How they’re feeling… of people are worried about crime and violence are in a positive mood (the same as this time last year) 1 in 3 people are worried about drugs, while the increase of crime and violence is also on Australians’ minds.
  3. 3. Overall, Australians remain in a positive mood – feeling happy and content. Australians remain in a positive mood and feel happy and content. Recent consumer and business sentiment reports have indicated that Australia is experiencing a slight upwards bounce. This is also reflected in the results from our report that show that Australians are in the same most positive mood they were this time last year – the highest results in the 2.5 years of tracking. As we have discovered from our previous Mood Monitor results, a variety of forces on a global, national and also personal level can impact on mood. Political events such as elections and budget announcements will play an important part on happiness – if the results impact directly on a household. Whilst people might be worried about things such as crime and violence and future terrorist attacks, their happiness will not be effected unless the issue impacts their wallet. If basic needs are being met, and Australians are happy with their ‘lot’, it seems they will remain in a state of happiness and contentment.
  4. 4. The wave of happiness – putting it into perspective. Source : SCAR Consumer Sentiment Study, June 2013, October 2013, June 2014, October 2014, May 2015, October 2015 “And just so we can narrow it down a little, from the following list, which word or words best describes your mood at the moment?” June 2013 n=4066 October n=1128 June 2014 n=1434 October 2014 n=1689 June 2015 N=2425 October 2015 n=5101 What’s happened to influence people’s happiness… Release of the Federal Budget. Concern about the financial position of the country and most others in the world New Federal Government voted in. People had a hope that this would set the country on a better path Release of the Federal Budget and resulting impact on families and businesses Terrorism threats have overshadowed most economic influencers but aren’t particularly affecting happiness levels Release of the Federal Budget. Whilst impact on lower income families, businesses will get a big break happiness Leadership spill with new Prime Minister. Terrorism threats remain but are overseas not local. Syrian refugees in media.
  5. 5. Segmentation – painting the picture of the segments in this report. This report has been segmented into various stages of life that may impact significantly on how the world is perceived and the economic pressures felt. Sarah is 24 years old and lives with two of her friends in an inner city share house. After finishing uni a few years ago, she now works at an ad agency in a junior position – but she has some pretty big aspirations for her career. After work she either heads to a personal training session or out with friends. Being single, she’s pretty social on the weekends but doesn’t go too crazy as she’s very careful with her money. She’s enjoying her freedom at the moment but dreams of one day finding a great guy to settle down with. The Wilsons are a family of four. Father Dan works as an accountant and mother Rebecca works part time doing office work for a local small business. Their daughter Lilly and son William both go to the local primary school. They’re paying off their family home but still feel comfortable with their financial position. They go on a holiday every year and can afford to take their kids to after school activities and fun things on the weekends. David and Jan have been married for 30 years and have raised three children. Only their youngest, who is 24 still lives at home but he’s pretty self sufficient. David still works but Jan retired last year. They’ve paid off their home but are a bit concerned about their superannuation investments and whether it will be enough for them to live comfortably on in the future. For this reason they’re very careful with their money and stick to a budget. Although they’ve experienced plenty of ups and downs in their lives, and are worried about how money issues might effect them and their children, they’re pretty happy and content with their life. Age 18-29 years. No children. They may or may not own a home. They may be single or in a relationship. Age 30-49 years. Have children under 18 years in the home. Either married or in a defacto relationship. Age 50+. No children under 18 at home. They may or may not own a home.
  6. 6. Australians are slightly more positive than they were in May this year – and are back to the highest level of positivity since our tracking began. Australians’ positivity is buoyed – suggesting a link with consumer sentiment. After the Federal budget release in May, positivity increased just slightly to the same level it was this time last year. It appears that a new Prime Minister may have had a positive effect on consumer sentiment and people’s moods. Source : SCAR Consumer Sentiment Study, June 2013 & October 2013, June 2014 & October 2014, May 2015 & October 2015 “When you think about your mood generally about your life, lifestyle, country, economy etc, what ONE WORD would you use to best describe how you feel right now?’ June 2013 n=4066 October n=1128 June 2014 n=1434 October 2014 n=1689 May 2015 N=2425, October 2015 N=5101 Note: Calculated by considering positive verbatim responses as a percentage of all responses. positivity 48%
  7. 7. Issues that are ‘close to home’, directly impact people’s happiness and the things worrying them on a personal level. As we’ve mentioned in previous reports, there seems to be a correlation between people’s happiness and the things worrying them on a personal level. An increase in positivity this time around would therefore suggest that issues at home are not causing as much of an issue as they have in the past. The cost of living – including energy and grocery prices – are less of a concern than ever before. In fact, energy prices are now only the 5th top worry for Australians right now. Higher up are crime and violence, drugs, future terrorist attacks and illegal immigration. All of which are not generally direct impacts on the home – and hence positivity has not been eroded. Healthcare Unemployment Quality and availability of education Availability and affordability of energy Future terrorist attacks Crime and violence Environment Illegal immigration Australian economy Worldwide economy strong weak Source : SCAR Consumer Sentiment Study, October 2015, “How worried are you about the following things....?” Very Worried n=5101
  8. 8. Empty Nesters remain the most positive segment, but Family Flocks and Free as a Birds are the happiest they’ve been in 3 years. Source : SCAR Consumer Sentiment Study, October 2015, “When you think about your mood generally about your life, lifestyle, country, economy etc, what ONE WORD would you use to best describe how you feel right now?’ n=5101 Free as a Bird N=1025 Family Flock n=1448 Empty Nesters n=463 Empty Nesters are feeling the most positive of all the segments – but Family Flocks and Free as a Birds are the most positive they’ve been in 3 years. As we’ve seen previously, Family Flocks are generally the group feeling the least positive. This is typically because they have additional stresses to their home life – including financial pressures. However, Family Flocks haven’t been this positive for two years – a sign that things might be looking up for them. Empty Nesters are positive but this has dropped since October 2014. This is possibly due to factors influencing their financial situation including low interest rates impacting their superannuation performance. % who are feeling positive at the moment
  9. 9. We asked Australians how they felt about their current life, lifestyle, country and economy – and these are the words they gave us…… Australians’ positivity is driven by feeling happy and content. Source : SCAR Consumer Sentiment Study, October 2015, “When you think about your mood generally about your life, lifestyle, country, economy etc, what ONE WORD would you use to best describe how you feel right now?’ n=5101 Free as a Bird N=1025 Family Flock n=1448 Empty Nesters n=463 Overall, Australians are feeling positive – in particular content and happy. But it also looks like they might be starting to feel a little tired and stressed as the year comes to an end.
  10. 10. Source : SCAR Consumer Sentiment Study, June 2013, October 2013, June 2014, October 2014, May 2015, October 2015 “And just so we can narrow it down a little, from the following list, which word or words best describes your mood at the moment?” October 2015 n=5101 June 2015 n=2425 When it came to choosing the mood they feel, Australians are just as happy as they were in June. How are people feeling right now? Once we asked people to choose from a selection of ‘moods’, happy and content still came out on top – with positive taking third position. Australians remain the happiest they’ve been in two years. Interestingly, these figures are almost identical to those in June 2015. 38% 36% 30% 27% 24% 24% 22% 13% 8% 4%
  11. 11. Free as a Birds are feeling the happiest out of the three segments. Source : SCAR Consumer Sentiment Study, October 2015, “And just so we can narrow it down a little, from the following list, which word or words best describes your mood at the moment?” n=5101 Free as a Bird N=1025 Family Flock n=1448 Empty Nesters n=463 The top mood for all three segments is ‘happy’, with Free as a Birds feeling the happiest. Family Flocks seem to be a happier bunch this time around. Their top four moods are positive ones and they are 15% more likely to be ‘happy’ now compared with June 2015. 3% 8% 20% 22% 22% 30% 31% 37% 38% 44% Angry Pessimistic Frustrated Concerned Excited Anxious Optimistic Positive Content Happy 4% 5% 9% 20% 22% 24% 25% 26% 36% 38% Angry Pessimistic Excited Anxious Frustrated Concerned Optimistic Positive Content Happy 5% 6% 8% 17% 22% 24% 26% 29% 34% 37% Angry Pessimistic Excited Anxious Frustrated Optimistic Concerned Positive Content Happy
  12. 12. Putting their lives in perspective enables Australians to feel happy. Source : Happiness Research Institute; Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, McLeod, S. A. (2007); SCAR Consumer Sentiment Study, October 2015 n=5101 ‘How do you feel about the following statements? : Australia has a much stronger economy than most other countries in the world at the moment’ Unsure = 41% For those that said their current mood was happy, this happiness seems to be derived from putting their lives in perspective. They recognise that they’re better off than other countries but also other people. As the Happiness Institute describes, happiness is derived from relative wealth – a person’s wealth in comparison with their ‘neighbour’ – rather than their absolute wealth. Australians seem to have realised their wealth is greater than that of other countries and are grateful for it. Indeed, 45% of Australians believe that the Australian economy is doing better than most other countries in the world. It seems to be an overall feeling of ‘we’re doing okay so we can’t complain’. In their own words… Why are you feeling happy? Happiness is derived from meeting basic needs – a home, a job, and family are what seem to matter most to Australians.
  13. 13. In their own words, why are they feeling happy? “I have a great family, surrounded by wonderful friends and I finally have a job that I love” “I love my family, my partner and most days my job. I am far better off than most people.” Overall, people are feeling happy because they have their lives in perspective. They feel that ‘all is good’ – they’re grateful for their position in life because they know there are people much worse off then themselves. Family, health, jobs, home and friends are key drivers of happiness. “Everything is going pretty good, few small issues but overall we are lucky, espically when you look at what is happening in other parts of the world” Source : SCAR Consumer Sentiment Study, October 2015, “Thinking about your life overall, including your family, lifestyle, country, economy etc, what ONE WORD would you use to best describe your MOOD right now?” & ‘And why do you feel this way?’ n=5101
  14. 14. Source : SCAR Consumer Sentiment Study, October 2015, “Thinking about your life overall, including your family, lifestyle, country, economy etc, what ONE WORD would you use to best describe your MOOD right now? And why do you feel this way? n=5101 The necessity to have basic needs met in order to feel happy is highlighted by the fact that those who are unhappy feel this way due to financial pressure, health issues and family life. Not having enough money and work are key drivers of unhappiness for Australians. In their own words… “We all are getting overtaxed, We are paying way too much for everything, food, rent, petrol, electricity, Internet and there is no money left at the end of the week to live. The rich pay next to nothing in tax and we pay through the nose. So, at times I am disillusioned.” “Not earning enough money, not enough savings, too many bills” “Working long hours, hardly see my kids or partner, kids have to go into before and afterschool care due to work and having no family around us, trying to study as well as be Director of a childcare Centre, house needs fixing but can't afford it, need a new car but can't afford it and the list goes on, but hey a least i have 2 healthy boys, just wish i could spend more time with them and be able to take them on holidays whilst they are still young” “It seem every year its getting harder and we need to work harder and longer just to try and enjoy life.”
  15. 15. What does this mean for each segment? Source : SCAR Consumer Sentiment Study, October 2015, “Thinking about your life overall, including your family, lifestyle, country, economy etc, what ONE WORD would you use to best describe your MOOD right now? And why do you feel this way? n=5101 Free as a Bird N=1025 Family Flock n=1448 Empty Nesters n=463 Free as a Birds feel consistently happy and feel free of too many worries in their life. They’re positive because life is going well for them at the moment, they feel happy, work is going great and there’s nothing going wrong right now. Many do worry a little about their financial future especially with the cost of housing. “I have a great family, good friends, stable work and financially supported by family if anything were to happen.” Family Flocks gain happiness from their family but feel the pinch from financial pressures. They feel happy and grateful because they have their family, job and health – but they are more likely to feel strain from the costs of living. “Because I have my husband and my kids. there is nothing in the world that beats that.” Empty Nesters are the great worriers and are being impacted by interest rates. Many Empty Nesters saw the change in Prime Minister as a positive thing for the country. However, they are still concerned about their financial stability – especially their eroding superannuation. “Just returned from interstate holiday. Renovating our house and enjoy babysitting my grand children. Life is pretty good”
  16. 16. While the general feeling is one of positivity and contentment, there are still pressures when it comes to finances and security. So what are people worried about at the moment?
  17. 17. Source : SCAR Consumer Sentiment Study, October 2015, “What is the biggest worry you have in your life right now? n=5101; “Do you think you are paid.....less than you should be” n=4006; “Do you think you will receive a salary increase in the next 12 months?” n=4006 Money is the biggest worry for Australians at the moment. Money, money, money – does anyone ever think they have enough? When we asked people what their biggest worry was at the moment, they resoundingly said that it was money. With 56% of Australians believing they’re paid less than what they should be, perhaps wages are at the root of this concern. With 1 in 3 people not expecting a pay raise in the next 12 months, this worry will no doubt remain (29% are not sure). So besides money, what else has Australians worried?
  18. 18. 9%9% 12%13% 20% 21% 22% 24% 25% 29% 31% 34% 35% Crime and violence Drugs Availability & affordability of energy prices Future terrorist attacks Un- employment Healthcare Quality and availability of education Illegal immigration Environ- ment Federal spending & budget deficit Affordability & availability of childcare Australian economy Worldwide economy Source : SCAR Consumer Sentiment Study, October 2015, “How worried are you about the following things....?” Very Worried n=5101 Crime and violence is the top concern for Australians at the moment. How worried are you about the following things? Future terrorist attacks
  19. 19. Source : SCAR Consumer Sentiment Study, October 2015, “How worried are you about the following things....?” Very worried n=5101 Free as a Bird N=1025 Family Flock n=1448 Empty Nesters n=463 Stage of life and socioeconomic standing really seem to impact on what people are worried about. Different stages of life influence what people are worried about. Whilst crime and violence are a common worry, after that things change. Free as a Birds are worried about terrorist attacks as this may be seen as an affront to the way of life they’ve always known. They are also concerned about unemployment (their future job prospects), the environment (the world they’re going to live in) and drugs. Family Flocks are still concerned about the availability and affordability of energy as it impacts their hip pocket. Empty Nesters on the other hand are information oriented so are effected by issues in the community that they see as impacting on the ‘greater good’. 24% 24% 25% 27% 30%Crime and violence Unemployment Future terrorist attacks Environment 29% 29% 29% 35% 38% Crime and violence Availability & affordability of energy Drugs 27% 40% 45% 45% 49%Drugs Crime and violence Illegal immigration Future terrorist attacks Drugs Illegal immigration Future terrorist attacks Unemployment
  20. 20. The top 5 worries over the past two years fluctuate and further reinforce that people are influenced by issues that effect them within the home. Source : SCAR Consumer Sentiment Study, October 2015, “How worried are you about the following things....?” Very Worried June 2013 n=4066 . October n=1128 June 2014 n=1434 October 2014 n=1689 May 2015 N=2425 October 2015 n=5101 These five issues have consistently been the top worries for Australians across our two years of Mood Monitor reports. Each issue fluctuates depending on current affairs and economic policy. However, only the issues that impact people’s hip pockets seem to influence their happiness and positivity. Availability & affordability of energy prices Crime & violence Healthcare Illegal immigration Unemployment
  21. 21. Source : SCAR Consumer Sentiment Study, June 2013, October 2013, June 2014, October 2014, May 2015, October 2015 “What impact has the rising cost of ENERGY prices had on your household?” Major Impact June 2013 n=4063 October 2013 n=4056 June 2014 n=1422; October 2014 n=1689 Free as a Bird N=275 Family Flock n=403 Empty Nesters n=268; May 2015 N=2425 Free as a Bird N=548 Family Flock n=660 Empty Nesters n=257 October 2015 N=5101 Free as a Bird N=1025 Family Flock n=1448 Empty Nesters n=463 Concerns over energy prices are abating, but they’re still having a major impact for 1 in 3 Family Flocks. In each of our Mood Monitor reports over the past two years we have seen that Australians are quite concerned about energy availability and prices. However, in this study, energy prices were only in the top 5 concerns for Family Flocks – Free as a Birds and Empty Nesters were much less concerned than they have been in the past. However, 1 in 3 people still believe that energy prices have had a ‘major impact’ on their household. They remain a major issue for 1 in 3 Family Flocks as this segment continues to feel the most pressure with the costs of living.
  22. 22. The impact of grocery prices has risen slightly again but Family Flocks are feeling less pressure. Source : SCAR Consumer Sentiment Study, June 2013, October 2013, June 2014, October 2014, May 2015, October 2015 “What impact has the rising cost of food prices had on your household?” Major, moderate impact June 2013 n=4056 Family Flock n=1386; October 2013 n=1131 Family Flock n=288; June 2014 n=1422 Family Flock n=395; October 2014 n=1689 Family Flock n=403; May 2015 n=2425 Family Flock n=660, October 2015 n=5101 Family Flock n=1448 The impact of grocery prices lessened over the past 15 months but have just risen again. Family Flocks are consistently impacted more by grocery prices than the other segments. However, this time around we see that grocery prices are impacting them the least they have in 2.5 years. Family flockAll people
  23. 23. 0% 5% 10% 15% 20% 25% 30% 35% 40% 45% Content Happy Optimistic Positive Concerned Frustrated Anxious Excited Pessimistic Angry A word on Family Flocks. Source : SCAR Consumer Sentiment Study, October 2015, “And just so we can narrow it down a little, from the following list, which word or words best describes your mood at the moment?” Family Flock over $100k HH Income n=478 Under $100k HH Income n=556 Family Flocks that have a household income over $100k seem to be living a lot more comfortably than those earning less – and this means they are generally more positive. The stress of financial worries seems to bring out more negative moods for those with a household income less than $100k as these families feel much more pressure from living costs such as food, energy and interest rates. How are Family Flocks feeling right now? HH Income under $100k HH Income over $100k Major impact HH Income under $100k HH Income over $100k Major impact HH Income under $100k HH Income over $100k Major impact HH Income under $100k HH Income over $100k
  24. 24. According to the Westpac-Melbourne Institute Consumer Confidence Index, Australian consumer confidence is at its highest level since May 2015. Similarly our Mood Monitor has seen positivity scores remain at the highest levels we have seen since tracking began two years ago – and happiness levels are at their highest ever. As we have found in previous reports if Australians have the basics covered – shelter, food, family and employment – then other external worries are less likely to impact on their happiness. We can see that this is again the case given the top worries are things external to the home. Whilst money (or lack of it) is a universal worry for all Australians, regardless of their socioeconomic standing, crime and violence remains the key worry at the moment. With a buoyant mood and increased consumer confidence, not to mention an increase in business confidence, it should hopefully be a pretty good Christmas for the economy. In fact, the Australian Retailers Association is predicting Australians will spend in excess of $46.7billion in retail stores this Christmas trading period – a 3.6% increase from 2014. This should make plenty of people happy. Source : http://www.tradingeconomics.com/australia/consumer-confidence; http://www.roymorgan.com/findings/6554-businesses- swing-behind-turnbull-government-201511110540
  25. 25. Research methodology. The results of this survey are “INDICITIVE” ONLY The survey was conducted by Southern Cross Austereo using its online panel nationally. The panel is obtained from our radio networks database under the labels of ‘VIP’ on the hit Network and ‘Music Jury’ on the MMM Network. All members of these databases would be considered listeners to these stations. The database contains about 260,000 members. Of these, approximately 20,000 are a part of our online community. The is split between the hit VIP database and the Triple M database. Members of the entire database were asked to take part in the study, and over 5101 did so. Certain questions asked for an ‘essay’ or ‘verbatim’ type of response OR brands/words that first came to mind. A keyword search was used to sort and rank the responses to these questions. The results are an un-weighted sample, but are reflective of the Southern Cross Austereo Austereo audience. SCA brands reach approximately 40% of the 10+ population and approximately 46% of the 25-54 population in the five metropolitan markets in Australia, suggesting it would be reasonable to consider these results to be a fair if not fully balanced representation of the opinions in these marketplaces. Furthermore, as it is an online survey, the respondents would also be skewed towards being ‘early adopters’ for technology, ‘trend setters’ in general and likely to be a good early indication of brand leaders, trend setters and early adopters in general. These research surveys conducted by Austereo are done so to provide a general understanding of the opinions, interests and attitudes of the metropolitan marketplaces only. ICONS: http://www.flaticon.com/
  26. 26. scaresearchdepartment@sca.com.au

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