The 2021 Edelman Trust Barometer Spring Update exposed a world fraught with feelings of anxiety and fear over the Covid-19 pandemic’s lasting effects: increased job loss and mental health issues, fear of a new outbreak around the corner and a widening inequality gap.

Highlights from the report include:

  • Trust in all UK institutions has risen since the January findings were released. However, the public remain fearful and anxious about our future, and are concerned about the impact of the pandemic on mental health and jobs lost that will never return.
  • The trust inequality gap within the UK now sits at 24 points, the largest it’s ever been. Whereas trust amongst the informed public surges, the mass population has had a considerably smaller trust recovery.
  • Despite the success of the vaccine programme in the UK, a large number of people do not feel safe returning to normal activities like going to the office, taking a flight or using public transport.
  • The pandemic has stoked other fears amongst the public, with a majority now believing that climate change needs to be taken more seriously as a threat to human life.
  • Concerns around the “infodemic” identified in January continue with 2 in 3 believing we’re in the midst of an information crisis. Less than 1 in 5 Brits believe that social media is doing a good job of reducing misleading and false information for example.
  • Business has big responsibility on its shoulders with a majority believing that the UK will not be able to overcome its challenges without business involvement, and there’s greater expectations for CEOs to prioritise social issues.
  • “My employer” remains considerably more trusted than other institutions, and when it comes to a business’s most important stakeholder, employees have kept the top stop with a 26 point lead over customers who come second.
  • 7 in 10 employees in the UK expect their employer to act on social issues with addressing vaccine hesitancy, climate change and racism identified as the priority areas.