A new survey has revealed that Australians find nurses as the most ethical and honest professionals, compared to car salesmen, newspaper journalists and advertising people.
The survey by Roy Morgan Image of Professions found that 23 fields have fallen in the public's estimation, the largest fall ever recorded, while nurses topped the annual list by 89 percent for being the most honest and ethical.
Second on the list came pharmacists, who got an 84 percent support, third were doctors with 82 percent, and school teachers and dentists made up the rest of the top five.
Pollster Gary Morgan said that the economic downturn had had a big impact on Australians' perceptions of the professions.
"Falls in the image of 23 professions in 2009 is the highest number of falls we've ever recorded," News.com.au quoted him as saying.
"Tough economic times invariably result in falls in the Roy Morgan Image of Professions survey," he added.
Car salesmen have once again been voted as the least honest and ethical professionals, and got only a 3 percent support. Advertising people and newspaper journalists followed them losely.
Given the economic downturn, business executives ranked poorly with only 16 per cent support, down five points on last year, and only 17 percent thought directors of public companies were honest and ethical.
Meanwhile, Australians' distrust of politicians has continued for another year, with federal MPs languishing on 19 per cent, followed closely by state politicians on 18 per cent.