Some 41 percent of people said joblessness was their biggest worry, a 13-percentage point jump from a year ago, when unemployment was No. 4, according to the November survey of 22,000 people.
"Jobs, jobs, jobs all across the globe is the No. 1 issue," said Clifford Young of Ipsos Global Public Affairs, the international market research and polling company that carried out the online poll. "There is going to be demand for government solutions."
U.S. data released on Wednesday showed private employers shed 693,000 jobs in December, far more than expected and up sharply from the 476,000 jobs lost in November.
"(The poll) suggests there is going to be a strong return to bread and butter issues, especially job creation and job-related programs and it suggests in respect to the economy greater government intervention," Young said.
Some 35 percent of those polled were equally concerned about poverty and social inequality or crime and violence, making it the No. 2 issue, while 31 percent feared corruption and financial or political scandals.
In October 2007, crime and violence was the top issue, followed by poverty and social inequality, and corruption and financial or political scandals.
'Evil' legacy of Mafia boss Toto Riina - Notorious Sicilian Mafia "boss of all bosses" Salvatore "Toto" Riina has died from cancer in jail, aged 87.
6 hours ago