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Survey Reveals Six Percent Increase in Americans Living Paycheck to Paycheck in Just One Year

Seventy-eight percent of Americans would experience financial difficulty if their paycheck were delayed a week, according to results from the 2023 “Getting Paid In America” survey conducted by PayrollOrg (PAYO). This is a six percent increase over the 2022 survey, which indicated the 72 percent of individuals were living paycheck to paycheck.

The annual survey asked respondents how difficult it would be to meet their financial obligations if their paychecks were delayed for a week. Of the 38,605 individuals who responded to this question, 30,225 respondents, or 78 percent, said they would find it somewhat or very difficult to meet their financial obligations.

“With two-thirds of employees noting they’d have difficulty making ends meet if their next paycheck was delayed one week, it is more important than ever that organizations ensure employees are paid with speed and accuracy, and that they offer programs that enhance access to earned wages,” said Theo Curey, head of Money Network at Fiserv.

The survey also indicated that Earned Wage Access, which allows employees to access their wages from their employers earlier than their regularly scheduled payday is gaining in popularity. Thirty-four percent of respondents indicated they want earlier access to their wages, an increase of 13% over 2022 results.

“As more Americans today live paycheck to paycheck than previous years, giving workers the option to access their earned wages before payday is a powerful financial wellness benefit that can provide relief for those who need it, thus improving overall workplace productivity and engagement,” said Deepa Chatterjee, COO, dayforce consumer services at Ceridian.

On its National Payroll Week website, PayrollOrg offers educational resources and tools to help employees maximize their earnings. Through smart adjustments to how they’re paid workers can boost take-home pay, increase savings, and maximize employer-provided benefits.

“The staggering number of Americans living paycheck to paycheck underscores the profound impact of inflation on employee well-being,” said Brian Slowik, co-founder of rapid!. “The urgency of accessing earned wages takes center stage, serving as a vital resource for employees to mitigate unforeseen expenses and circumvent costly penalties. It’s an invitation to be part of a movement that empowers immediate financial well-being.”

The “Getting Paid In America” survey was held in conjunction with PayrollOrg’s annual public awareness campaign National Payroll Week, September 4 – 8. Over 39,200 individuals responded to the survey, providing valuable insight into the needs of employees in America.