Majority of Americans Live Paycheck to Paycheck

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SAN ANTONIO, Sept. 20 /PRNewswire/ — More than two-thirds of Americans live paycheck to paycheck, according to results released today from a survey by the American Payroll Association.

The “Getting Paid In America” annual survey asked respondents how difficult it would be to meet their current financial obligations if their paychecks were delayed for a week. More than 22,500 of the more than 31,000 respondents, 72 percent, said they would find it somewhat or very difficult to meet their financial obligations if their paychecks were delayed.  This is up one percent over the 2009 result of 71 percent.

“This result reinforces the notion that Americans are still struggling in this current economy,” said Dan Maddux, executive director of the American Payroll Association. “Employees should use free payroll-related benefits such as direct deposit, 401(k) plans and Flexible Spending Accounts to ease savings, reduce tax burden and maximize paychecks.”

Thankfully people feel confident that their paycheck will always be accurate.  The survey showed 89 percent of Americans are very or somewhat certain the amount of their paychecks is correct each payday.

Increasingly complex tax laws and benefit structures make paycheck calculation a challenging task.  The high percentage of employees satisfied with their paycheck accuracy is a testament to the payroll professionals who calculate paychecks each pay period.

“Automated technology solutions make managing payroll easier to ensure checks are accurate and get out on time,” said Joyce O’Donnell Maroney, managing director, Workforce Institute, Kronos Incorporated.

The “Getting Paid In America” survey was held in conjunction with APA’s annual public awareness campaign, National Payroll Week (NPW), held annually the week of Labor Day. More than 31,000 employees responded to the survey, providing insight into how workers are paid in America. For complete results, visit

Established in 1982, the American Payroll Association is the nation’s leader in payroll education, publications, and training. The nonprofit association conducts more than 300 payroll training conferences and seminars across the country each year and publishes a complete library of resource texts and newsletters. Every year, nearly 20,000 professionals attend APA training sessions. Representing more than 23,000 members, APA is the industry’s highly respected and collective voice in Washington, D.C.  Visit APA online at