Survey: More than half workers say their paychecks aren’t keeping up with inflation

Dive Brief:

  • With inflation putting pressure on their finances, 53% of U.S. adults said their paycheck is not keeping up, according to survey results released Monday by the American Staffing Association and The Harris Poll. 
  • Thirty-eight percent of the nearly 2,100 people surveyed in early January said they’re in a more stressful financial position than they were a year ago. 
  • “The data may project a soft landing for the economy, but the bank accounts of America’s workers are telling a different story,” Richard Wahlquist, chief executive officer at the American Staffing Association, said in a statement. “U.S. workers are understandably stressed about the adequacy of their paychecks and their ability to save for their future.”

Dive Insight:

Recent data from job search site Monster painted an even gloomier picture. Eight-one percent of workers surveyed said their current wage hasn’t kept pace with the cost of living, according to the company’s 2024 Work Watch Report. 

As Americans struggle with financial resilience, some companies are offering emergency savings benefits to help, such as automatic paycheck deposits into an emergency fund and more frequent access to their earnings. 

Others are upping total compensation through matching contributions to 401(k) plans for verified student loan payments and by offering stock bonuses. 

Meanwhile, salary increases may slow this year but are expected to remain historically high, according to Pearl Meyer’s annual executive pay practices survey.