Many people no longer believe that hard work will lead to a better life, a new survey found.

In its 20th annual Trust Barometer, which polled more than 34,000 people in 28 countries, public relations firm Edelman found that despite strong economic performance, the majority of people in developed markets said they believe they and their families will not be better off in five years’ time.

“We are living in a trust paradox,” said the agency’s CEO Richard Edelman.

“Since we began measuring trust 20 years ago, economic growth has fostered rising trust. This continues in Asia and the Middle East but not in developed markets, where national income inequality is now the more important factor in institutional trust.

“Fears are stifling hope, as long-held assumptions about hard work leading to upward mobility are now invalid.”

Trust in government also continued to decline as people grappled with concerns over job insecurity and income inequality.

More than four out of five (83 per cent) employees said they worry about losing their job due to a range of factors, including gig economy, looming recession, foreign competitors and automation.

Government was viewed as the most unethical and least competent institution, with only 42 per cent of respondents saying they have confidence that government leaders will be able to address the challenges int their country.

Media was also considered incompetent and unethical, with 57 per cent saying the media they consume contain untrustworthy information.

Business ranked the highest in competence but was deemed unethical, with the majority of respondents agreeing that capitalism does more harm than good in the world today. No institution was seen as fair in the survey’s index of public perception.

This article originally appeared on Over60