Share of U.S. Workers Living Paycheck to Paycheck Continues Decline

Chicago — Sept. 25

The number of U.S. workers dependent on their next pay day to make ends meet continues its decline from the height of the financial crisis, according to an annual CareerBuilder survey.

Thirty-six percent of workers report that they always or usually live paycheck to paycheck, a recession-era low down from its peak of 46 percent in 2008. In 2012, 40 percent of workers reported they always or usually live paycheck to paycheck.

The survey by Harris Interactive from May 14 to June 5 among a representative sample of nearly 3,000 full-time, private sector U.S. workers found that 24 percent of workers never live paycheck to paycheck, while 40 percent state they sometimes do. Eighty-two percent of workers were able to make ends meet every month in the last year, an increase of two percentage points from 2012.

One-in-five workers have missed payments in the past year, with 16 percent reporting they have missed payments on smaller bills and four percent indicating they missed payments on mortgages or other large financial obligations.

A quarter — 25 percent — of workers does not set aside anything for savings each month, an improvement over 27 percent last year. Thirty-one percent save more than $250 and 10 percent save more than $1,000 per month.

Sixty-five percent participate in a 401(k), IRA or other comparable retirement plan, down from 67 percent last year. However, fewer workers have had to reduce their contributions to retirement plans or personal savings — 17 percent in 2013, compared to 20 percent in 2012.

Source: CareerBuilder