Yesterday's post dealt with the relationship between concern about inequality and actual inequality among OECD countries. Today's post examines the relationship between concern about unemployment and actual unemployment among OECD countries. As before, data on concern about unemployment are from the recent Pew survey, while data on actual unemployment are from the OECD database.
Concern about unemployment is calculated the same way as concern about inequality. The specific question Pew asked was, "Do you think a lack of employment opportunities is a very big problem, a moderately big problem, a small problem, or not a problem at all in our country?" Each value is for Spring 2014. The measure of unemployment used is simply the harmonised unemployment rate for the first quarter of 2014. Because Spain and Greece, with unemployment rates of 25% and 27% respectively, skew the distribution considerably, I apply the log transformation.
The chart below shows the relationship between concern about unemployment and actual unemployment. In contrast to the case of inequality, the correlation here is both large and statistically significant, namely r = .70 (p = 0.005). And it is essentially identical when the non-log-transformed unemployment rate is used, namely r = .67 (p = 0.009). Moreover, it is even stronger when Germany, which appears to be something of an outlier, is excluded from the analysis, namely r = .80 (p = 0.001).