Almost three-quarters (73%) of British voters think the country is "moving in the wrong direction" economically, while a huge 93% fear that their children's generation will be worse off, according to an international poll released ahead of next week's G20 summit of leading economies in Mexico.
Voters in the UK were gloomier than people elsewhere in the G20, where an average 58% think their countries' economies are heading in the wrong direction.
Despite the crisis in the eurozone, voters across the EU had a less pessimistic view of the state of the economy, with 56% saying their country was heading in the wrong direction and 65% that future generations would be less wealthy than this one.
The study, commissioned by the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), found that 49% of Britons believe the threat of unemployment has gone up over the past two years, compared to 35% in the G20 and 31% in the EU.
Some 80% of Britons thought that banks and financial institutions had too much influence over the Government's economic decisions, while 72% said the same about large corporations - compared to 67% and 65% across the G20 as a whole. Just 30% of those questioned in the UK said workers and unions had too much influence.
The poll showed strong support for protections for workers, including health and safety laws (backed by 94% in the G20 and 96% in the UK), a minimum wage (89% in the G20, 94% in the UK) and collective bargaining (86% in the G20, 91% in the UK).
ITUC general secretary Sharan Burrow said: "The democratic contract with voters is broken in many countries, and governments must pay heed to their people or we risk increasing political and economic instability.
"Global economic orthodoxy is widely rejected by the populace, and this upswell of anti-government and anti-austerity opinion across so many nations should cause urgent re-thinking at the global level. Given a choice of economic policies, two-thirds of people support government action to invest in job creation to allow economies to grow and pay off debts, compared with less than one in four who want debts paid off now by cutting back on government spending."
TUC general secretary Brendan Barber said: "Two-thirds of people believe that future generations will be worse off than today - a telling indictment of the failure of global austerity measures."
Market research company TNS interviewed a total of 13,067 people in Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, France, Germany, Greece, Indonesia, Japan, Mexico, South Africa, the UK and the USA in May.