Fewer employees living paycheck to paycheck

Forty percent of employees are living paycheck to paycheck, marking a decrease from 42 percent in 2011 and 46 percent in 2008 when the recession first hit, according to a new CareerBuilder survey.

Of the respondents who are living paycheck to paycheck, 53 percent report not doing so until 2008. Another 37 percent of respondents say they sometimes live paycheck to paycheck, and 23 percent of respondent say they never do. At least on one occasion last year, 20 percent of respondents could not make ends meet.

Out of the respondents making $100,000 per year or more, only 12 percent always or usually live paycheck to paycheck, a decrease from 14 percent in 2011 and 17 percent in 2010.

"Making ends meet remains a challenge for millions of households, but the situation has improved for workers who've grown more confident with their job security or who've taken steps to pay down debt and save more," says Rosemary Haefner, vice president of human resources at CareerBuilder. "Seventy-two percent of workers report they are more fiscally responsible since the end of the recession, and as the labor market continues to improve, we expect more workers will again be able to spend in ways that will drive the economy forward."

Fifty-nine percent of respondents say they have reduced leisure activities since the beginning of the recession; however, respondents say there are some expenses that are too important to cut, including Internet connection at 57 percent, driving at 44 percent, pets at 39 percent, cable television at 29 percent and mobile phones at 24 percent.  

While 27 percent of respondents report not saving for retirement each month, 30 percent of respondents save at least $250, and 10 percent of respondents save more than $1,000 each month. Another 67 percent of respondents say they contribute to 401(k), IRA or comparable retirement plans, which is near 2011’s figure at 66 percent, and 20 percent of respondents report cutting their contributions to these plans over the last year. This remains nearly unchanged from 2011 at 21 percent, as well.

Women at 44 percent are more likely than men at 36 percent to live paycheck to paycheck. In fact, 25 percent of female respondents skipped at least one monthly payment in the last year as opposed to 17 percent of male respondents.

Among the various age groups, respondents closer to retirement are least likely to live paycheck to paycheck at 34 percent. Meanwhile, the likeliness of other age groups living paycheck to paycheck are ages 18-34 at 40, ages 35-44 at 42 percent and ages 45-54 at 43 percent. 


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