Many workers feel the pinch of rising inflation and struggle to meet everyday financial needs, according to the 2022 PwC Employee Financial Wellness online survey of more than 3,200 U.S. workers across a variety of industries.
Only 42 percent of those surveyed say they’re compensated at an income that can keep up with rising cost-of-living expenses, a drop from 52 percent in PwC’s 2021 Employee Financial Wellness survey. Plenty of Americans are taking on extra jobs to help pay the bills. In fact, one-quarter of full-time employee respondents say they’re working more jobs this year than they have in the past.
More than half (56 percent) of employees surveyed are “stressed” about money. Yet many financially stressed workers also hesitate to ask for help with their finances, the survey found. Curious about what’s stressing out American workers financially and what employers can do about it?
Read on for more results from the PwC Employee Financial Wellness online survey.
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Money worries impact employee health and relationships
According to the PwC survey, more than one-third (34 percent) of those surveyed say that worries over money have had a “severe or major” impact on their lives, especially when it comes to:
- Mental health (34 percent)
- Sleep (33 percent)
- Self-esteem (30 percent)
- Physical health (23 percent)
- Relationships at home (21 percent)
- Work productivity (18 percent)
- Attendance at work (15 percent)
Mental health issues over financial concerns affect productivity
Among survey respondents who say financial stress has negatively impacted their mental health, 41 percent cited work productivity as the area most affected. According to the PwC survey, respondents who cited mental health issues caused by workers’ concerns over their financial situations are:
- Twice as likely to look for another job
- Six times more likely to be less productive
- Seven times more likely to miss work
- Less likely to feel valued by their employer
To help employees balance mental health and financial priorities, PwC suggests offering both mental health resources and financial coaching to workers, especially since many (41 percent) surveyed are reluctant to seek out financial guidance.
Financial stress prompts many to look for new jobs
According to the 2021 PwC survey, more than one-quarter of employees switched jobs last year for more flexibility on work hours and/or the opportunity to work remotely. Only 38 percent cited compensation as the primary reason they changed jobs.
In this year’s survey, however, 65 percent of those looking for a new job say the desire to earn more money is their main reason for trying to land a new job.
To help ease workers’ financial stress and retain workers, employers should implement employee benefit programs focused on finances such as student loan repayment plans, paying off debt and building emergency savings, according to the survey.
Of survey respondents looking for a new job:
- Fewer than half (46 percent) believe their employer cares about their financial well-being
- 59 percent struggle to pay monthly household expenses
- 50 percent use credit cards to pay monthly bills
- 37 percent took out a payday loan or payday advance in the past year
Find out: How to Cope with Financial Stress
Workers distracted by money struggles
More than half (55 percent) of financially stressed employees surveyed say they spend three or more work hours each week distracted by or managing their finances. According to the survey, employers who lessen workers’ financial stress by offering financial wellness programs and resources are more likely to keep employees focused and productive.