The annual Roy Morgan Image of Professions survey has rated nursing as the most ethical and honest profession – though journalism and advertising rate at the bottom of the list along with car sales.

Nurses came in at 89% followed by pharmacists (84%) and doctors (82%,) and school teachers (76%) have been consistently ranked near the top. State Supreme Court Judges (68%) and High Court Judges (67%) also regularly rate highly.

According to the market research company, when comparing 2009 results to those of 2008 the image of most professions declined in 2009 – of 29 professions surveyed in both years, 23 saw declines in 2009, while three professions were unchanged over the year.

However, journalists (9%), advertising people (6%) and car sales (3%) all ranked in the bottom three places, after real estate agents (10%) and union leaders (14%).

“Falls in the image of 23 professions in 2009 is the highest number of falls we’ve ever recorded in the annual Roy Morgan Image of Professions survey – exceeding the falls in 21/28 professions in 2000 – after the bursting of the Dotcom bubble,” said Gary Morgan, executive chairman in Roy Morgan.

Another report released by Roy Morgan showed that ABS unemployment was up 0.3% to 5.7% in May, with the jobless numbers rising in Australia to 651,200.