Survey Finds Majority of Americans Live Paycheck to Paycheck

SAN ANTONIO, Sept. 10, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — More than 74 percent of employees in America would experience financial difficulty if their paychecks were delayed for a week, according to results from the 2019 “Getting Paid In America” survey conducted by the American Payroll Association (APA). 

The annual APA survey asked respondents how difficult it would be to meet their current financial obligations if their paychecks were delayed for a week. Approximately 28,893 respondents, 74 percent, said they would find it either somewhat or very difficult to meet their financial obligations.

“It’s important that employees educate themselves and tap into the power of their paychecks,” said Dan Maddux, executive director of the APA. “More take-home pay can be used to boost their emergency savings and meet long-term financial goals.”

On its National Payroll Week website, the APA offers educational resources and tools to help employees better understand how to maximize strategic savings from their paychecks.  Maximizing your paycheck can increase take-home pay, boost savings, and maximize employer-provided benefits.

Additional results from the “Getting Paid In America” survey show 32 percent of respondents would be interested in having access to some or all their wages on-demand as they are earned rather than waiting for payday. On-demand wage payment is a new, emerging tool for employees that can help them better manage their day-to-day finances.  The payment method enables employees to access a portion of their wages as they earn them, rather than waiting for a lump sum payment on a designated payday.

“The high percentage of people living paycheck to paycheck underscores the need for employers to explore ways to make payroll more employee-centric, like a daily pay benefit,” said Jeanniey Mullen, chief marketing officer for DailyPay.

The “Getting Paid In America” survey was held in conjunction with the APA’s annual public awareness campaign National Payroll Week, September 2-6. Over 39,700 individuals responded to the survey, providing insight into how employees are paid in America. For complete survey results, visit

The APA is the nation’s leader in payroll education, publications, and training. Visit the APA online at