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One Third of Canadian Workers Live Paycheck to Paycheck, Survey Finds

  • Women more likely than men to live paycheck to paycheck
  • Survey asks what workers would never give up regardless of finances

TORONTO – 17 SEPTEMBER 2015 – If you’re anxiously awaiting payday, wondering if you have enough cash to last you until then, take heart in the fact that you’re far from alone. Thirty-one per cent of Canadian workers say they always or usually live paycheck to paycheck to make ends meet, according to a new survey from

The Canadian national survey, conducted online by Redshift Research on behalf of among more than 500 workers across industries and company sizes, found that 17 per cent of workers never live paycheck to paycheck, while 35 per cent state they sometimes do.

When broken down by gender, women are more likely than men to report living paycheck to paycheck. Thirty-six per cent of women and 25 per cent of men always or usually live paycheck to paycheck.

More than 1 in 3 workers (34 per cent) has missed a payment in the past year, with 17 per cent reporting they have missed payments on smaller bills and 3 percent indicating they missed payments on mortgages or other large financial obligations.

“Though the majority of workers feel more fiscally responsible since the recession, many are still struggling to make ends meet. If workers are worried about their finances, it can lead to increased stress and anxiety.” said Ryan Lazar, managing director of CareerBuilder Canada. “Because these financial worries can also begin to affect morale and productivity, employers may want to consider offering financial planning resources – such as complimentary webinars, classes or coaching sessions – to help employees ease their financial burdens.”

Savings and Responsibility

One in five workers does not set aside anything for savings each month. Nearly 2 in 5 (31 per cent) save more than $250, and 10 per cent save more than $1,000 per month.

The majority of Canadian workers (69 per cent) feel they are more financially responsible since the recession. More male workers than female workers feel this way (71 per cent versus 67 per cent).

Making Ends Meet

The vast majority of workers (87 per cent) have taken some sort of action to make ends meet financially. Nearly half have stopped eating out (45 percent) or cut back on leisure activities (44 per cent) to help balance budgets in the last year. Other attempts to cut costs include:

  • Used coupons/shopped at discount stores: 41 per cent
  • Drove less to save on gas: 24 per cent
  • Cancelled paid for TV package and other subscriptions: 21 per cent
  • Took on a second job: 20 per cent
  • Used public transportation: 18 per cent
  • Found a roommate/rented out a room: 9 per cent
  • Moved back home with my parents: 9 percent

Most Valued Expenses

For all the areas in which workers have cut back in order to save money, there remain several expenses some workers refuse to give up regardless of financial concerns:

  • Internet connection: 56 per cent
  • Smart phone or other mobile device: 38 per cent
  • Driving: 36 percent
  • Traveling: 17 per cent
  • Paid for TV package: 12 per cent

  • Coffee from coffee shops: 12 per cent
  • New clothes: 11 per cent
  • Going out to eat: 9 percent

Survey Methodology
The survey was conducted among 500 employees and 400 hiring managers in Canada. The interviews were conducted online by Redshift Research in June & July 2015 using an email invitation and an online survey. Results of any sample are subject to sampling variation. The magnitude of the variation is measurable and is affected by the number of interviews and the level of the percentages expressing the results. In this particular study, the chances are 95 in 100 that a survey result does not vary, plus or minus, by more than 4.4 percentage points from the result that would be obtained if interviews had been conducted with all persons in the universe represented by the sample.

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Media Contact
Mary Lorenz
+1 773-527-3613

CareerBuilder Media Contact
For all media inquiries and interview requests, contact:

Michael Erwin
(P) 773-527-3637