Active and Employed
According to data from CB 2013, 40% of Georgians are either employees (25%) or self-employed (14%). In this survey, those who do not have a job are grouped into the following categories: unemployed (25%), retired (17%), housewives (12%), students (4%) or disabled (2%). One can reasonably expect that people who work are more likely to have less time to participate in different kinds of activities compared to the unemployed. However, CRRC Caucasus Barometer data demonstrates that people who work tend to get involved in different kinds of activities more frequently than those who do not work.
Working people are more likely than the unemployed to participate in activities which involve socializing, meeting new people and helping others. Twenty five percent of those who have a job said that they have volunteered without compensation and 23% have attended a public meeting during the last six months, while only 17% and 13%, respectively, of the unemployed did the same. Also, when asked whether they have done any unpaid or paid work for their family’s business for at least one hour within the past week, more of those who work answered positively compared to the unemployed.
Note: The graph above only gives the percentage of “Yes” responses. It does not give percentages of “No”, “Don’t Know” and “Refuse to Answer”. The chart gives only the answers of respondents who have a job or are unemployed. Housewives, students, retired people, the disabled and others are excluded.
Moreover, when it comes to political participation, working people report higher rates of involvement. Around 90% of both those who have a job and those who do not say they would participate in presidential elections if they were held next Sunday, but when it comes to reality, 90% of working people reported voting in the 2012 parliamentary elections compared to 81% of the unemployed. Here, it is important to note that according to the Central Election Commission of Georgia, the turnout in this election was only 59.75%. The number of respondents who report that they have or will vote is usually higher than the actual turnout. There are many reasons for this discrepancy; however, this blog does not seek to analyze these reasons.
Those with jobs and without are similar in their frequency of using the internet but differ from each other in respect to their behavior while browsing the internet. As CB 2013 shows, 36% of those who work and 31% of the unemployed say they use the internet every day. The most frequent activities when browsing the internet are similar in both groups, but the frequencies are different between groups. Most of the time, people use the internet to visit social networking sites or to search for information, though those who have a job are less likely to use the internet for social networking sites and are more likely to search for information. They are also more likely to send and receive email, which may be related to their work.
When considering the above-mentioned differences, it is important to note that there are no significant differences in the demographic characteristics of those who work and who are unemployed. They are evenly distributed geographically and by gender. As for the age composition of the two groups, the share of people aged 18 to 35 is higher in the unemployed group (45% compared to 35%). While financial factors are important, alone, they do not explain the differences described in terms of social engagement, especially as activities such as volunteering, attending public meetings and voting do not require significant expenditures.
Thus, people who work are more involved in other social activities than those who do not work. In addition to financial factors, social factors may also be behind these differences. Maybe those who have a job have more opportunities to engage in activities, because they have more connections as they are part of a specific social network due to their work. On the contrary, maybe they have a job, because they already had more social ties before they got a job, and thus are and were actively involved in many different activities. We cannot say for sure, but finding out the answer might be very important as, according to Caucasus Barometer 2013, there are a fair number of unemployed people (25%) in Georgia who may have free time that can be used to serve some good.
In your opinion, why are the unemployed less involved in the social activities discussed in this blog? What is the reason for unemployed people not participating in many social activities? Is it only related to economic factors or are there other factors that could explain these findings?
Share your ideas on the CRRC’s Facebook page.
In August 2012 CRRC launched the study of Georgia’s Workforce Development system, commissioned by the World Bank. Document review and key informant interviews have been used as main research methods in this study. On 19th of December, the World Bank office in Tbilisi hosted a workshop which aimed at presenting and validating the preliminary finding...
From environmental catastrophe to violence, our world currently faces serious challenges with long-term consequences. In this context, what do people in the Caucasus consider to be the most acute problems?
During Sargsyan’s incumbency, dissatisfaction with government grew and support for protest increasedSerzh Sargsyan, formerly the President and then Prime Minister of Armenia, resigned from office on April 23rd, 2018, following 11 days of peaceful protest. Over the past 10 years, which coincide with Sargsyan’s time in office, Armenians were increasingly dissatisfied with their government. At the same time, the country witnessed growing civic engagement, with “youth-driven, social media-powered, issue-specific civic activism,” referred to as “civic initiatives”. CRRC’s Caucasus Barometer data from 2008 to 2017 reflect both these trends.
The Caucasus Barometer survey regularly asks people, “Which of the following statements do you agree with: “‘People are like children; the government should take care of them like a parent’ or ‘Government is like an employee; the people should be the bosses who control the government.’” Approximately half of the population of Georgia (52%) agreed in 2017 with the former statement and 40% with the latter. Responses to this question have fluctuated to some extent over time, but overall, attitudes are nearly equally split.
Public opinion polls suggest support for democracy is on the decline in Georgia, but does support for democracy correlate to support for liberal values?
An increasing number of Georgians view their country as ‘a democracy with major problems’, with CRRC’s Caucasus Barometer survey showing the share of people reporting this belief to have increased from 27% in 2011 to 48% in 2019.
In parallel to this growing scepticism towards the country’s democratic situation, surveys show a decline in the proportion of the population believing that democracy is preferable to any other kind of government, falling from 65% in 2011 to 49% in 2019.
As the number of new daily confirmed cases is again on the rise, we look at how people felt about the anti-coronavirus restrictions in May.
Aside from the public health situation, COVID-19 has led to rising unemployment, reduced incomes, and food insecurity in Georgia. As the number of new daily confirmed cases is again on the rise, the Caucasus Datablog takes a look at how people felt about the anti-coronavirus restrictions when they were at their height.
Gendered norms prevail in Georgian society, which often translates into deprecation of women for smoking, drinking alcohol, having pre-marital sex, and even living with a boyfriend. However, attitudes appear to be shifting.
CRRC’s Caucasus Barometer survey asked people what they thought about several such activities. The data showed that the public are least accepting of women smoking, with 80% reporting it is never acceptable at any age. Sexual relations (63%) and cohabitating with a man before marriage were also commonly thought to be never acceptable for women (60%).
While mobile phone ownership is widespread in Georgia, gaps still remain among rural, elderly, and ethnic minority populations.
Owning a mobile (cell phone) is considered so important that more widespread ownership is considered a sustainable development goal (SDG 5.b) by the United Nations.
Mobile phone ownership among households has increased significantly over the last decade. Caucasus Barometer data indicates that in 2008, two thirds of households owned a mobile phone. This has steadily increased, reaching 96% of households in 2019, the last year for which Caucasus Barometer data is available.
The pandemic has clearly harmed people’s health, yet new data from the Caucasus Barometer Survey suggests that people considered themselves more healthy in 2020.
In 2019, 35% of the public evaluated their health as good. In past years, this had shifted up and down to varying extents, however, the largest change was a decline from 41% to 30% between 2013 and 2014.
In contrast, between 2019 and 2020, the share of people reporting that they were in good health nearly doubled from 35% to 65%.
Unemployment remains one of the most frequently cited concerns among Georgians. But how satisfied with their jobs are those who are employed?
Public opinion polling consistently shows that the most important issue facing the country is unemployment. While official data suggests an unemployment rate of around 17%, Caucasus barometer survey data suggests that only 40% consider themselves employed.
While unemployment is clearly an issue, a secondary point is the quality of jobs available: a third of the unemployed (36%) reported that they do not work because available jobs do not pay enough, and 61% reported that suitable work is hard to find on a 2018 survey.
The recent war in Nagorno-Karabakh resulted in thousands of deaths and the displacement of tens of thousands. Yet despite there being a brutal war near its borders, many in Georgia were unaware of the conflict.
Data from the Caucasus Barometer survey indicate that awareness of the conflict’s existence increased shortly after the war in 2020 compared to 2013, but only slightly. In 2013, when the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict was ‘frozen’, 66% of Georgians reported they had heard of it. Around a third of the population was not aware of it. In December of 2020, shortly after the 44-day long war, 74% of Georgians reported they had heard of it. A whole quarter (26%) of the population, meanwhile, was not aware of military operations between the country’s two direct neighbours.