Record High Number of Americans Living Paycheck to Paycheck
According to a survey conducted by Pymnts.com and LendingClub Corp., 64% of U.S. consumers – equivalent to 166 million people – were living paycheck to paycheck by the end of 2022. This figure is up from 61% a year prior and near a record high that was reached in March of 2020.
In an effort to explain the dichotomy, Anuj Nayar, the financial health officer at LendingClub, stated, “The effects of inflation are eating into every American’s wallet and as the Fed’s efforts to curb inflation drive up the cost of debt, we are seeing near-record numbers of Americans living paycheck to paycheck.” He further explained that consumers are adjusting to the long-term nature of inflation and attempting to make their once nondiscretionary expenses discretionary.
The survey of 3,989 people revealed that 51% of high-income earners surveyed – those making over $100,000 – said they were living paycheck to paycheck in December, an increase of nine percentage points from the year prior. Additionally, 66% of middle-income earners and 78% of low-income earners reported living paycheck to paycheck.
Furthermore, 24% of those surveyed reported having difficulty covering their monthly bills, up from 22% in 2021. The Consumer Price Index (CPI) for all items rose 6.5% for the 12 months ending in December, placing an additional strain on U.S. consumers.
The latest University of Michigan survey showed that consumer sentiment, while it’s climbed from this year’s lows, remains far below pre-pandemic levels, and last week fourth-quarter economic growth data highlighted slowing household spending.
This year may bring further pressure as less than half of survey respondents said they expect their incomes to keep up with inflation. Nayar concluded by saying “Now more than ever, it is crucial for consumers to examine spending and build a cushion of savings to prepare for the unexpected.
0. “Across All Income Levels, More Americans Are Living Paycheck…” MENAFN.COM, 10 Feb. 2023, https://menafn.com/1105556709/Across-All-Income-Levels-More-Americans-Are-Living-Paycheck-To-Paycheck
1. “64% of Americans Living Paycheck to Paycheck in 2022” Watcher Guru, 10 Feb. 2023, https://watcher.guru/news/64-of-americans-living-paycheck-to-paycheck-in-2022
2. “High-income earners move back into childhood bedrooms, use candles instead of lamps to make ends meet” AOL, 15 Feb. 2023, https://www.aol.com/news/high-income-earners-move-back-140700433.html
3. “LendingClub Says Wealthier Consumers Adjusting to Inflation’s ‘New Reality’” PYMNTS.com, 9 Feb. 2023, https://www.pymnts.com/economy/2023/lendingclub-says-wealthier-consumers-adjusting-to-inflations-new-reality
4. “Even on $100k plus, more Americans are living paycheck-to-paycheck” The Spokesman Review, 12 Feb. 2023, https://www.spokesman.com/stories/2023/feb/12/even-on-100k-plus-more-americans-are-living-payche
5. “Americans living paycheck to paycheck” South Alabamian, 15 Feb. 2023, https://www.southalabamian.com/articles/americans-living-paycheck-to-paycheck/
6. “High Inflation Drives More Employees to Live Paycheck to Paycheck” SHRM, 8 Feb. 2023, https://www.shrm.org/resourcesandtools/hr-topics/compensation/pages/high-inflation-drives-more-employees-to-live-paycheck-to-paycheck.aspx
7. “Anxious for payday: Even high-income earning Americans live paycheck to paycheck” Augusta Free Press, 8 Feb. 2023, https://augustafreepress.com/news/anxious-for-payday-even-high-income-earning-americans-live-paycheck-to-paycheck/
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