Survey: 3 in 4 Small Business Employees Live Paycheck to Paycheck

Pete Jansons


Do your employees seem particularly stressed out these days? The problem might have less to do with their workloads – and more to do with their bank accounts. More than 3 in 4 workers at small business (77 percent) live paycheck-to-paycheck to make ends meet, according to new CareerBuilder research. Forty percent of small business employees say they sometimes live paycheck-to-paycheck, 15 percent said they usually do and 22 percent said they always do.

More than 1 in 5 small business workers (21 percent) have not been able to make ends meet every month in the last year, and 17 percent have missed payment on some smaller bills. Further, 66 percent of small business workers say they’re in debt. While 45 percent say their debt is manageable, more than half of those in debt (57 percent) say they feel they will always be in debt. And nearly half (47 percent) do not participate in a 401k plan, IRA or comparable retirement plan.
Just over a third of small business workers (34 percent) stick to a clearly defined budget and just over half (54 percent) save $100 or less a month:

  • None: 23 percent
  • Less than $50: 16 percent
  • $51 to $100: 15 percent
  • $101 to $250: 14 percent
  • $251 to $500: 14 percent
  • $501 to $750: 4 percent
  • $751 to $1,000: 5 percent
  • More than $1,000: 10 percent

As this survey indicates, making ends meet is a very real struggle for many workers today. When it gets to a certain point, their financial worries can become a burden to your business. Financial stress can distract your employees from their work, take a toll on morale, and hurt productivity.
So how can you help both your employees AND your business?

Consider putting programs in place designed to help employees become better at saving and managing their money. In addition to matching 401(k) contributions, try hosting financial planning workshops on topics such as personal budgeting, retirement savings and smart investing. Or hire experts to come in for lunch-and-learns or financial counseling. And see about partnering with companies such as PerkSpot or Fond to offer corporate discounts on popular services, goods and entertainment.

Give your employees more reason to smile. Check out 9 Competitive Benefits for Small Businesses to Offer

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