Fifty-one percent of Americans earning $100,000 or more a year are living paycheck-to-paycheck, according to a LendingClub survey.
This is up from 42% from a year ago.
Of these six-figure earners, 16% are struggling to pay their bills, up from 11%.
Among people at all income levels, 64% are eking out a paycheck-to-paycheck living, up from 61% in December 2021, the survey found.
“The effects of inflation are eating into every American’s wallet, and as the Fed’s efforts to curb inflation drive up the cost of debt, we are seeing near-record numbers of Americans living paycheck-to-paycheck,” says Anuj Nayar, financial health officer at LendingClub.
“While the number of Americans living paycheck-to-paycheck is close to their height we saw in the middle of the pandemic, the causes appear to be very different, as the economy is not sheltering in place like it was back in 2020,” Nayar adds.
Sixty percent of Americans who depend on each paycheck they earn do not expect their personal finances to improve in the next year. Their biggest fear is inflation, while the 40% who are optimistic about their financial situation are, nevertheless, concerned about the U.S. economy.
LendingClub expects the number of people living paycheck-to-paycheck will continue to increase, until the U.S. economy recovers and layoffs subside.
The best thing people can do is accumulate savings, even if it is only an emergency savings fund, Nayar says.
LendingClub's survey is based on a poll of 3,989 consumers Dec. 8, 2022 to Dec. 23, 2022, and an analysis of economic data from the Federal Reserve and the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
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