97 Million Full-Time Workers Are Now Living Paycheck to Paycheck


A staggering number of full-time workers are living paycheck to paycheck

According to the latest survey, conducted on CareerBuilder's behalf by Harris Poll, 78% of U.S. full-time workers are now living paycheck to paycheck, up from 75% in 2016, to make ends meet. If we utilize full-time employment data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2016 (123.8 million full-time workers), it means about 97 million of those full-time workers are living paycheck to paycheck. That includes 23% who said they always lived paycheck to paycheck, 17% who claimed they usually do, and 38% who noted that they sometimes do.

What was particularly interesting about CareerBuilder's survey is that well-to-do individuals weren't free of financial issues. Roughly 9% of workers making $100,000 or more annually was living paycheck to paycheck, and 59% of these highest-income folks were carrying around debt. In the middle-income to middle-upper-income bracket of $50,000 to $99,999 in annual income, 28% were living paycheck to paycheck, and 70% were in debt.

Debt itself proved to be a major issue for a majority of workers, regardless of their income -- and it's a big reason workers are struggling to save money. Just 19% of workers surveyed admitted to saving more than $501 monthly, while at the other end of the spectrum, 56% were saving less than $100 a month, including 26% with no monthly savings whatsoever.

When questioned, less than a third (32%) of respondents admitted to following a detailed monthly budget, and a number of respondents refused to give up certain luxuries, despite their financial woes. For example, 54% refused to give up their internet connection, 53% wouldn't give up their mobile device, and 48% wouldn't stop driving, to lower their monthly expenses and save money.

In all, the American labor force is in a sad state, financially.