Majority of Americans Live Paycheck to Paycheck, Confident in Paycheck

Sep 17, 2012, 13:25 ET from American Payroll Association

SAN ANTONIO, Sept. 17, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Sixty-eight percent of Americans live paycheck to paycheck, according to the 2012 "Getting Paid In America" survey recently conducted by the American Payroll Association.

The 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 28,300 of the 30,611 respondents, 68 percent, said they would find it somewhat or very difficult to meet their financial obligations if their paychecks were delayed.

As the survey confirms that workers still continue to struggle financially, it also shows workers have gained more confidence in their paycheck.  When asked "How certain are you that your paycheck is correct each payday," an overwhelming ninety-two percent of survey respondents indicated they're confident their paycheck is accurate, up two percent over 2011.  This has many in the payroll community proud.

"It is encouraging to learn that survey participants are certain that their payroll withholdings and the net amount of their paycheck are correct each payday," said Larry Dunivan, senior executive vice president, products & technology, Ceridian. "We have been offering payroll solutions for close to eighty years and are constantly innovating in the areas of payroll processing, analytic capabilities, compliance, operations and client services."

The importance of an accurate paycheck has never been higher.  "Kelly Services has found that paycheck accuracy is key to our employees' satisfaction.  In recent candidate engagement surveys, satisfaction with pay has scored the highest of any category measured," said Debra Jordan, V.P. payroll administration, Kelly Services.

In addition, payroll technology innovations have improved payroll services to ensure accuracy and streamline processing for employees and employers alike.

"It is in the best interest of employers and workers that people are paid correctly and on-time," said Joyce Maroney, director of The Workforce Institute at Kronos. The use of an automated system to track time and properly compensate workers is a critical tool in managing this process cost effectively."

As employees continue to look for ways to stretch their paychecks further, payroll has become increasingly important to budget management. Employees can use free payroll-related benefits such as direct deposit, 401(k) plans and Flexible Spending Accounts to ease savings, reduce their tax burden and maximize paychecks. 

"These results underscore the importance of delivering accurate paychecks on time to maintain employees' trust and commitment," said SumTotal CEO John Borgerding. "This mirrors the feedback we are getting from our customers who need payroll solutions and managed services that will handle their complex pay rules and provide them the flexibility to run and validate payroll on their own schedule."

To help employees further ensure the accuracy of their paychecks, the American Payroll Association offers free tools, including a paycheck calculator on its National Payroll Week website,  In addition, the APA's Paycheck Maximizer smartphone app helps workers properly fill out Form W-4 to potentially add hundreds of dollars to their paychecks instantly.

The "Getting Paid In America" survey coincides with APA's annual public awareness campaign National Payroll Week (NPW), held annually during the week of Labor Day. More than 30,600 employees responded to the survey, providing insight into how employees are paid in America. For complete results, visit

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

SOURCE American Payroll Association