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Posted by: thepinetree on 08/24/2017 07:00 PM Updated by: thepinetree on 08/24/2017 07:00 PM
Expires: 01/01/2022 12:00 AM

Survey Says 78% of Americans Living Paycheck to Paycheck

Chicago, IL...Do you countdown to payday? You're not alone. More than three-quarters of workers (78 percent) are living paycheck-to-paycheck to make ends meet — up from 75 percent last year and a trait more common in women than men — 81 vs. 75 percent, according to new CareerBuilder research. Thirty-eight percent of employees said they sometimes live paycheck-to-paycheck, 17 percent said they usually do and 23 percent said they always do. The national survey, which was conducted online by Harris Poll on behalf of CareerBuilder from May 24 to June 16, 2017, included representative samples of 2,369 full-time employers and 3,462 full-time U.S. workers across industries and company sizes in the private sector.

More Money, Less Financial Headaches?
Having a higher salary doesn't necessarily mean money woes are behind you, with nearly one in 10 workers making $100,000 or more (9 percent) saying they usually or always live paycheck-to-paycheck and 59 percent in that income bracket in debt. Twenty-eight percent of workers making $50,000-$99,999 usually or always live paycheck to paycheck, 70 percent are in debt; and 51 percent of those making less than $50,000 usually or always live paycheck to paycheck to make ends meet, 73 percent are in debt.

"As an employer, your employees' financial problems become your financial problems," said Rosemary Haefner, chief human resources officer for CareerBuilder. "If workers are constantly thinking about their financial struggles, their quality of work can decrease, and it can take a hit on their morale and productivity. If you do what you can to help people keep their finances under control — by doing things such as matching 401(k) contributions or hosting financial planning seminars — you'll ease some of their financial worries and it will be less likely to have a negative impact on your business."

Debt is a Growing Issue for Workers
A quarter of workers (25 percent) have not been able to make ends meet every month in the last year, and 20 percent have missed payment on some smaller bills. Further, 71 percent of all workers say they're in debt — up from 68 percent last year. While 46 percent say their debt is manageable, more than half of those in debt (56 percent) say they feel they will always be in debt. And it should be noted that 18 percent of all workers have reduced their 401k contribution and/or personal savings in the last year, more than a third (38 percent) do not participate in a 401k plan, IRA or comparable retirement plan, and 26 percent have not set aside any savings each month in the last year.

Less than a third of workers (32 percent) stick to a clearly defined budget and a slight majority (56 percent) save $100 or less a month:

None: 26 percent
Less than $50: 15 percent
$51 to $100: 16 percent
$101 to $250: 14 percent
$251 to $500: 11 percent
$501 to $750: 5 percent
$751 to $1,000: 4 percent
More than $1,000: 10 percent
Still, despite financial woes, there are certain things employees aren't willing to give up. When asked what they'd absolutely not give up, regardless of financial concerns, employees cited:

Internet connection: 54 percent
Mobile device (smart phone, tablet, etc.): 53 percent
Driving: 48 percent
Pets: 37 percent
Cable: 21 percent
Going out to eat: 19 percent
Traveling: 17 percent
Education: 13 percent
Buying gifts for people: 13 percent
Alcohol: 11 percent
Minimum Wage Workers Can't Make Ends Meet
The majority of workers (81 percent) have worked a minimum wage job, and 71 percent of them were not able to make ends meet financially during that time — more than half (54 percent) had to work more than one job.

To alleviate some financial burden, 83 percent of employers that are hiring minimum wage workers this year (45 percent) will be raising the minimum wage at their organization.

Survey Methodology
This survey was conducted online within the U.S. by Harris Poll on behalf of CareerBuilder among 2,369 hiring and human resource managers ages 18 and over (employed full-time, not self-employed, non-government) and 3,462 employees ages 18 and over (employed full-time, not self-employed, non-government) between May 24 and June 16, 2017 (percentages for some questions are based on a subset, based on their responses to certain questions). With pure probability samples of 2,369 and 3,462, one could say with a 95 percent probability that the overall results have sampling errors of +/- 2.01 and +/- 1.67 percentage points, respectively. Sampling error for data from sub-samples is higher and varies.

About CareerBuilder®
CareerBuilder is a global, end-to-end human capital solutions company focused on helping employers find, hire and manage great talent. Combining advertising, software and services, CareerBuilder leads the industry in recruiting solutions, employment screening and human capital management. It also operates top job sites around the world. CareerBuilder and its subsidiaries operate in the United States, Europe, Canada and Asia. For more information, visit

Comments - Make a comment
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No Subject
Posted on: 2017-08-24 19:29:20   By: Anonymous
Electronic devices - latest and greatest - and the monthly bills for them contribute a lot to high monthly expenses. Much different today than in the past.

[Reply ]

    Posted on: 2017-08-26 06:51:53   By: Anonymous
    And pretty much required in this day and age.

    [Reply ]

Posted on: 2017-08-24 19:38:44   By: Anonymous
Work any job you can get.
Learn to budget, Learn to save, increase marketable skills and obtain a job paying more than minimum wage.
Repeat as necessary till prosperous.

[Reply ]

    Re: Truth
    Posted on: 2017-08-24 22:03:15   By: Anonymous
    When is the Calaveras County marijuana festival?

    [Reply ]

      Re: Truth
      Posted on: 2017-08-25 04:59:51   By: Anonymous
      Right after the drunks celebrate the Grape Stomp in Murphys.
      Watch out when driving, drunk drivers will be everywhere.

      [Reply ]

    Re: Truth
    Posted on: 2017-08-26 06:58:07   By: Anonymous
    Do an exercise: look at the cost of housing, transportation, and food, and tell me if you could do that on $20,800 a year (before taxes). That's a take home pay of $722 a month. I don't know about you, but I spend nearly that a month just on groceries for my family.

    [Reply ]

No Subject
Posted on: 2017-08-24 20:54:13   By: Anonymous
Really, this has been going on since people have had jobs!

[Reply ]

    Posted on: 2017-08-24 22:35:50   By: Anonymous
    What's a paycheck? I'm retired, drawing a pension, SS, and growin' pot!! What could be better?? You work? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

    [Reply ]

Re: Where are they spending it?
Posted on: 2017-08-25 04:22:08   By: Anonymous
I don't know anyone up here that smokes and "buys" it. The people
I see who smoke it grow it.
Look how many people buy wine, beer, hard liquor, our stores are packed
with alcohol, so let's not just count one drug (that you don't like, but probably
drink, don't you?) on your fingers, who live check to check.
Myself, I don't have that problem, I paid my house off 10 years ago bank
my money and have a 401k. Hard work and being frugal can
help people get there.
I also smoke it, 2 hits right before bed, never during the day,
only at night, for sleep.
I do know the county has profited from "Medical Marijuana"
Industry here, it's brought good and bad to our county. But there will
always be people who grow it illegally, there always has been.

[Reply ]

No Subject
Posted on: 2017-08-25 09:27:37   By: Anonymous
To get a job or upgrade a job you pretty much need to have a mobile phone and access to the internet. Mobile phones have replaced landlines for many so the cost is still higher, but not be the full price of a mobile phone. Access to the internet has replaced subscriptions to the newspaper and is needed to find a better job. I think those expenses are pretty close to necessary. And around here you can't hold a job without a car. So that is necessary.

Eating out and alcohol one can easily do without.

The bigger problem IMO is that minimum wage is too low. If you are a business and need a worker, you should pay that worker enough to live. Otherwise you force the worker to also accept welfare and that means taxpayers are subsidizing your business by covering some of your true employee costs. That is immoral for you as a business owner.

Two things need to happen:

1. Raise the minimum wage.

2. Teach budgeting in high school. Not budgeting with double entry books and all that CPA nonsense. Teach students about wages, taxes, take-home pay, benefits, true cost of buying on credit, income expectations and probability of actually finding a job for various professions, the difference between wants and necessities, typical cost of rent, food, health insurance, owning an auto, having a baby, etc. Have them make a budget and see how realistic it is.

[Reply ]

    Posted on: 2017-08-25 09:38:13   By: Anonymous
    Sure raise the minimum wage, then the price of everything goes up and you have accomplished nothing.

    [Reply ]

      Re: Truth Prevails
      Posted on: 2017-08-25 16:50:53   By: Anonymous
      Seattle and a coupe of other cities legislated a $15.00/hr minimum wage.
      Many restaurants closed and huge amounts of minimum wage employees lost their jobs as fast food type business struggled to keep their business afloat.
      Unlike the government, real business can't print more money. A small business owner doesn't hoard a big bag of money they can give employees a raise with.
      Most businesses have a small margin for labor after deducting fixed operation costs and material/product costs. There is only so much left to meet payroll.

      Minimum wage jobs are starting points for people to learn and move on to better paying jobs.
      Minimum wage jobs are not meant to be a lifetime career choice.

      Want an exciting career that starts off paying you below minimum wage?
      Try starting your own business and paying for product and employees while you sweat your own financial existence.
      Nobody owes anybody a living.

      [Reply ]

        Re: Truth Prevails
        Posted on: 2017-08-26 07:01:47   By: Anonymous
        Half the jobs in this country pay less than $18/hr.

        [Reply ]

        Re: Truth Prevails
        Posted on: 2017-08-26 07:05:05   By: Anonymous
        You really think it's ok to have someone spend 40 hours a week, making money for someone else's business, and not be able to afford to eat by the end of the month?

        I'm sure employees who aren't under that level of constant economic stress are more productive.

        [Reply ]

          Re: Truth Prevails
          Posted on: 2017-08-26 11:47:21   By: Anonymous
          People who don't like to spend 40 hours a week making money for someone else's business, are free to start their own business.
          America is an equal opportunity economy, not equal outcome, but equal opportunity.

          [Reply ]

            Re: Truth Prevails
            Posted on: 2017-08-26 12:53:28   By: Anonymous
            That isn't an actual choice. It takes money to start a business, many you can't save living paycheck to paycheck. Most minimum wage earners have more than one job. How many hours a week of labor should it take to to earn a living wage?

            [Reply ]

    Posted on: 2017-08-25 11:04:37   By: Anonymous
    I agree about the minimum wage. All we are doing now is subsidizing businesses. I'd also like to see the minimum wage rise high enough so that all wage earners had to pay at least a token level of income taxes. The present system has created a whole class of people who don't care how tax money is spent because it's not their money. That attitude might change if they had a stake in the game.

    The so-called "single payer" (the taxpayer) health care proposals are really further subsidies to business who used to have to bear the cost of insurance just to attract employees. Ask yourself why so many big companies love the "single payer" concept.

    As far as teaching practical skills like budgeting in high school, just note the millions that Calaveras High spent on a theater building and program while ignoring vocational education.

    [Reply ]

      Posted on: 2017-08-25 12:19:44   By: Anonymous
      Many times you can get funds to build something like a Performing Arts center or in the County's case a new jail. Getting funds to run the facilities is next to impossible. Another great way govt funding is really screwed up.

      We will give you the money to build something new but not to run it or existing or needed programs

      [Reply ]

        Posted on: 2017-08-25 13:18:30   By: Anonymous
        Excellent comment!

        [Reply ]

      Posted on: 2017-08-25 15:40:50   By: Anonymous
      Jim Frost had the center built to honor Jim Frost.

      [Reply ]

        Posted on: 2017-08-25 16:52:08   By: Anonymous
        Find your own center and life gets better.

        [Reply ]

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