78% Of US Workers Are Living 'Paycheck-To-Paycheck' & 71% Of Them Are In Debt

Tyler Durden's picture

Authored by Michael Snyder via The Economic Collapse blog,

Are you living paycheck to paycheck?  If so, you are just like most other hard working Americans.

As you will see below, 78 percent of full-time workers in the United States say that they are living paycheck to paycheck.  That is the highest figure ever recorded, and it is yet more evidence that the middle class is under an increasing amount of stress The cost of living is rising at a much faster pace than our paychecks are, and more families are falling out of the middle class with each passing month.  Unfortunately, this is something that the mainstream media really doesn’t want to talk about these days.  Instead, they just keep having us focus on the soaring financial markets which are being grossly artificially inflated by global central banks.

When I came across the numbers that I am about to share with you I was actually quite stunned.  I knew that things were not great in “the real economy”, but I didn’t expect that the number of Americans living paycheck to paycheck would actually be rising.  But that is precisely what a brand new survey that was just released by CareerBuilder is saying…

Seventy-eight percent of full-time workers said they live paycheck to paycheck, up from 75 percent last year, according to a recent report from CareerBuilder.


Overall, 71 percent of all U.S. workers said they’re now in debt, up from 68 percent a year ago, CareerBuilder said.


While 46 percent said their debt is manageable, 56 percent said they were in over their heads. About 56 percent also save $100 or less each month, according to CareerBuilder.

The first thing that we want to note about this survey is that it only includes full-time workers.  So the unemployed, part-time workers, those that work for themselves and those that are independently wealthy were not included.

The second thing that we want to note is that these numbers have gotten worse since last year.

That certainly does not fit with the narrative that we are being fed by the mainstream media, but it does fit with the reality that most people are living on a daily basis.

Most Americans work extremely hard, but they can never seem to get ahead.  Most of us are in debt, and a couple of weeks ago I wrote about how the elite use debt as a tool of enslavement.  As we work endless hours to “pay the bills”, we are steadily enriching those that are holding our debts.

In addition, the cost of living is steadily going up, and most U.S. families are just barely scraping by from month to month as a result.  Just a couple days ago I wrote about how Obamacare was causing health insurance premiums to skyrocket, and today I came across another example of someone that has seen their annual premiums more than double during the Obamacare era…

For some lower-income people in Obamacare, the rising premiums President Donald Trump has talked so much about will barely be felt at all. Others, particularly those with higher incomes, will feel the sharp increases when insurance sign-ups begin Wednesday.


Richard Taylor is one of the people on the wrong end. The 61-year-old, self-employed Oklahoman has meticulously tracked his medical costs since 1994. In 2013, he signed up for an Affordable Care Act plan for the law’s first year offering coverage to millions of Americans.


Four years ago, annual premiums for a mid-level “silver” plan to cover his family totaled $10,072.44. For 2017, they were $21,392.40—up 112 percent.

Who can afford $21,000 a year for health insurance?

I know that I can’t.

And rates are supposed to go up substantially again in 2018.  We must repeal Obamacare, and we must do it now.

In addition to financial stress, most Americans are also deeply concerned about the future of this country.  Just consider the following numbers from a poll that was released this week

Almost two-thirds of Americans, or 63 percent, report being stressed about the future of the nation, according to the American Psychological Association’s Eleventh Stress in America survey, conducted in August and released on Wednesday.  This worry about the fate of the union tops longstanding stressors such as money (62 percent) and work (61 percent) and also cuts across political proclivities. However, a significantly larger proportion of Democrats (73 percent) reported feeling stress than independents (59 percent) and Republicans (56 percent).

I certainly can’t blame the Democrats for being stressed out.  Donald Trump is in the White House and pro-Trump forces are taking over the Republican Party.  And if a large wave of pro-Trump activists goes to Congress in 2018, we are going to take this nation in a completely different direction.

That same survey referenced above also discovered that 59 percent of Americans consider this “to be the lowest point in our nation’s history that they can remember”

A majority of the more than 3,400 Americans polled, 59 percent, said “they consider this to be the lowest point in our nation’s history that they can remember.” That sentiment spanned generations, including those that lived through World War II, the Vietnam War, and the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11. (Some 30 percent of people polled cited terrorism as a source of concern, a number that’s likely to rise given the alleged terrorist attack in New York City on Tuesday.)

That number seems very strange.

Yes, I can understand that those on the left are very pessimistic now that Trump is in the White House, but this is definitely not the lowest point in recent history.

Have people totally forgotten the financial crisis of 2008?

What about 9/11?

The JFK assassination, the Vietnam War, the deep recession during the Carter years and the entire Obama era are also examples of very low points in recent history.

Yes, great challenges are coming, but for the moment the economy is relatively stable, much of the world is at peace, and at least Hillary Clinton is not in the White House.

There is so much to be thankful for, and if people out there think that this is the “lowest point” in recent American history, how are they going to feel when a real crisis comes along?

*  *  *

Michael Snyder is a Republican candidate for Congress in Idaho’s First Congressional District, and you can learn how you can get involved in the campaign on his official website. His new book entitled “Living A Life That Really Matters” is available in paperback and for the Kindle on Amazon.com.

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LawsofPhysics's picture

All by design...

Very important that your feudal lords maintain power and control over real resources (especially human labor).


Still accepting that fiat currency?

"Full Faith and Credit"

Creepy_Azz_Crackaah's picture

OK. What's new?

As the paycheck to paycheck people spend $1300 for a new Apple **PHONE**

loebster's picture

Americans NEED to wake up and realize the country is under a DARK CLOUD. http://goo.gl/keHdpZ

bobcatz's picture

Americans have no money, but the USG keeps sending over $7 BILLION a year to Apartheid Israhell.

Stuck on Zero's picture

"78% Of US Workers..."

The problem is the work. Most are not in jobs that produce anything and so there is nothing to exchange with other "workers."

Jack McGriff's picture

It's the Jewsury, stupids!  And also the progressive income tax, which is the number one thing the poor dumbasses absolutely LOVE, not realizing this is the very thing that prevents them from getting ahead (they must like being poor, or, more likely, class envy makes them feel good about being poor and not having to pay income taxes while sticking it to the 1% who are subsidizing their lives!)

Fucking Jews and niggers.  Without them we'd have colonized Mars by now.

cheka's picture

they need to quit and get on the tit.  the fs army has no debt and gov annuities worth hundreds of thousands of dollars (if sold on the open market)

GoldRulesPaperDrools's picture

The most destructive government policy ever enacted is the progressive income tax; it pushed the tax burden on an increasingly smaller percentage of citizens while allowing an increasingly greater percentage of citizens to vote for politicians who promised them `free shit` at the smaller percentages' (or future generations') expense.  If taxes need to go up, they should go up on EVERYONE regardless of whether you pay taxes on five thousand or five billion dollars a year.  Don't want to pay more in taxes?  Don't ask for more `free shit`.  When the government stops handing out the `free shit`, people look to acquire it on their own, usually as gainfully employed persons.

panhead20's picture

None of those full time workers are getting 'free shit'

You live on minimum wage for a year and see what it is like.

doctor10's picture

The bankerz, in league with Fed.gov, have assembled the world's most efficient and finest asset-stripping machine ever seen

That nonsense about "freedom and democracy" we try to spread around the world is really their attempt to extend the tentacles of this machine into all the corners of the world.


JRobby's picture

Its called "The Federal Reserve", "TBTF" banking cartel and a corporate oligarchy / deep state unrestrained by anti trust.

nope-1004's picture

Exactly.  Which is why interest rates are low.  Low rates produce asset bubbles forcing the average person to finance (read debt slave) after having their credit rating (read slavery index) approved.

People need to take to the streets.  Start hanging banksters, the FED, Janet, Ben, Alan, on and on.  The system is horribly broken and yet we keep working to stay afloat.

For whom though?

LawsofPhysics's picture

I predict that even if rates rise, there will still be more central bank printing, they have to, it's the math of a ponzi.

Truly in "uncharted waters".

hedge accordingly.

nope-1004's picture

The grand lie is that low rates are good for you because borrowing costs are cheap.

WTF?  Why borrow at all?  Why are some cars the same price as the average annual income?  Anyone listening?  Why do we need credit?  Who benefits?

We don't.  Low rates detach your labor from your time, thereby causing all employed to work for basic subsistence.  The system is rotten.  Low rates are the cancer.

During the mid 80's there were people getting rich all over my town.  Not because they were smart, but because they were paying loans back with inflated dollars.  The banks caught on and had some hard years and are hell bent on not letting that happen again.  So here we are:  "Low rates are good for you."

F'n bankers lie so bad.

But keeping working your asses off y'all.  See how far you get.  Spoiler alert:  You won't.  You're being stolen from systematically.  You labor is being syphoned.  Your time is being taken.  Your money is being debauched.



*rant off.....

Escrava Isaura's picture

nope-1004: Low rates produce asset bubbles…………….

Sorry, wrong.

Money supplied ‘created out of nothing’ by the private bankers is what create asset bubbles.


Now on why the Central Banks keeps using the low interest rate narrative:

Firstly, they are using the interest rate narrative in order to suggest that they are adopting beneficial policies, when this may not really be the case.

Secondly, they may in this way be able to distract public attention from the true causal relationships in the economy. In this case, a far less benevolent interpretation of central bank policy becomes suggestive. 

As a defense mechanism, central banks could be expected to argue that they are doing all in their power to help the economy, while pinning the blame on other actors. But for this to work, observers need to be misinformed about what the true levers of monetary policy are.

Richard Werner………..



nope-1004's picture

Your links to your socialist buddies and their opinions are getting boring.

How much does a CB troll get paid these days?  You've been here a few years.  Making good coin?  Or is it tiresome always trying to lie?

I send my best to all cubicle workers, as they stare at screens all day trying to sway public opinion.  It's a real shitty life, so cudos to you for doing it Escrava.


Escrava Isaura's picture

First, as a liberal, I don’t believe in socialism. Real socialism is too mediocre for my likes.

Second, if I was a troll I would haven give up Zero Hedge long time ago. I am here because Zero Hedge, even with its flaws, it still directed towards money properties. Also, Zero Hedge web layout, that is easier for me to follow, and comment on it.  


Glassport's picture

I think you're overlooking the process of money created out of nothing as you put it.  Money is created by banks issuing loans.  Loans have associated interest rates.  The present day rates are perversely low so business leaders borrow at these rates and buy back stock, inflating assets, and feathering there own nest eggs.  The key here is the rate.  Stop the low rate and you stop the asset bubble.  People will still borrow, but for the right reasons - CAPEX, which keeps business going, people employed, etc.  The most intriguing thing about the asset bubble is that if it continues, you can have all of the really expensive as shit stock as you want, but you won't be able to buy anything because us serfs are going to say fuck you to these rich assholes and they'll be lucky if we'll sell them a frozen turd in winter.  Not much of an incentive there.

Escrava Isaura's picture

‘Probably’ the perfect way, again, probably:

Banks CAN NOT issue money, EVER.

Money CAN NOT have price ‘interest’ on it, ever.

Banks CAN NOT be for profit. Banks to be community banks. These banks can only charge a fee.

Money can only be issued by the Treasury and target at GDP ‘employment’ growth. If no growth to be found, money issuances stop.

Trade between communities, states, and nations are to be barter.  


But, not that I need to remind you, these will never happen on a Anglo-Saxon industrialist and capitalist society, because the worker ‘the real producer’ would have too much power.


Also, as a liberal, I don’t think these would work either, but, if did, it would have given humanity the best chance of adaptation and survivability which the current capitalist system doesn’t.


BandGap's picture

Years ago I would laugh when I thought about the avewrage Chinese person needing a year's wages to buy a car. Not so much anymore.

BandGap's picture

Interest rates are low so the government payments on debt interest stay low.

The US (and almost every other country on this big, blue marble) will never pay off the principle.

2Blondboys's picture

Had the interest rate remained around 4-5 percent which was the historical norm, the debt servicing would reach around 800 billion. Right now it is under 275 billion as of 2016. The other issue is how the low interest environment sunk the pension funds that expected an 8 percent return. Additionally, a business like Sears would have folded a long time ago had borrowing costs not become so incredibly cheap. Also corporate debt has exploded. They borrowed to pay dividends, and to buy back shares at higher prices.

SixIsNinE's picture

zh has had many posts on the interest servicing -
it's NOT 275 - iirc - the most recent figures are at least $500 billion a year.

and Catherine Fitts reports that over 21 trillion is missing from .goobs accounting since 1997. And it's likely well more than that. that's actual figures that they have to report

there is a market for $20million yachts. lots of 'em.

rackets of fraud & graft all over USD FiatPonziEmpire

2Blondboys's picture

Had the interest rate remained around 4-5 percent which was the historical norm, the debt servicing would reach around 800 billion. Right now it is under 275 billion as of 2016. The other issue is how the low interest environment sunk the pension funds that expected an 8 percent return. Additionally, a business like Sears would have folded a long time ago had borrowing costs not become so incredibly cheap. Also corporate debt has exploded. They borrowed to pay dividends, and to buy back shares at higher prices.

JibjeResearch's picture

You can still fight the design..

Well... I'm trying anyway ehehehe...

TheGardener's picture


Living paycheck to paycheck is not the beginning but almost the end of the story.

It probably means you are wearing clothes 10 years old back from better days but about to fall apart, soon to be rags. Same with your car, a paid off wreck by you or someone else but still a liability to keep it roadworthy. Your relationship and your job also see you as an exploitable but depreciating asset and all the raise you get is on demands on you and your private expenses keep on rising without you ever having a feast .

Minimum wage land or being an employee keeps you down below as in good old feudal times. What`s this pursuit of happiness?

Having a job while being stupid...

QQQBall's picture

I  Suspect people living beyond their means to look good is part of reason. Many people have too much car, shop too much, eat out too much, etc... IF you cannot afford chillrens, don't have them. Get on The FIRE bandwagon - Financial Indpendence Early Retirement.  Read Your Money or Your Life... Read Cashing in on the American Dream, How to Retire at 35 by Terhortz. Read Millionaire Next Door.  Work hard, live below your means and invest the surplus.  I have never owned a new car. BFD!

One big issue is that I could go in the US Army and later work my way through college. Even did a year abroad study program. My chillrens would never have master's degrees with one in Law Skool in UK after the masters degree - that is mucho tuition and living expense support.  So, there is a bit of luck for them. UC system has a TAG program - 2 years doing GE at the JC or CC with guaranteed acceptance as a junior in the local UC campus.

I don't have the answer except life is much simplier and less stressful living below my means and savings. The gubbermint is certainly making it harder and harder, dat for sure.

poor fella's picture

I was trying to extrapolate the 'consequences' of the current design recently. Jobs suck, benefits disappearing, everyone working is overworked, costs are up double digits, gas is starting to increase whether the economy is strong or not (thanks for those exports cONGRESS), people forced to buy expensive replacement cars (even with insurance - how many paid MORE than received because the payments were ok for much more car than needed) - on and on..

Here's the conclusion - just like corporate C-suites are cannibalising companies and eating seed corn left and right - many families will have to survive on the wealth created by generations before them. We will see many family members consolidate (these stories have been around for a few years), perhaps sell assets, live off the retirements of older members, etc. etc. Some members will not be wanted back (perhaps addicted to opioids) - and there again - the opioid epidemic is helping - albiet very slowly - THE UNEMPLOYMENT CRISIS. Can't make it in the system today? Fell through the safety net? No worries - we've made self-assisted suicide simple with easy access pills spread far and wide and your death will be as pleasant as Sol's in Soylent Green. 

If this slow motion train wreck is indeed kept in check by CBs and Ponzi Street - imagine the markets just bouncing around +/- 3% for another 10 years...  slowly debt slaves sell what they have, barely get by in the gig economy, barely making due, and 10 year old memories to these days will be as happy as Modern Family. Granted SOME will thrive - youtube 'stars' will emerge, and the MSM will point to all the miracle careers offered by the Internet. But real careers, offering stability and a healthy life sustained through hard work and constant learning - will be few and far between. .  .    

*steps away from the podium of dispair*    omg that was dreary. hopefully this shitshow just collapses and we all rebuild in a way that we should have done in 2008!!  


jewish_master's picture

as a jew let me give u an advice - if u dont get the jews out of ur country nothing will change.... we had half a centuary to get into key positions and now we milk it. i know i live in israehell its like this but on  stereoids. i used o think we mimc the USA , till irealized it the way around - the USA is mimicing us.

lasvegaspersona's picture

Don't borrow.

Live frugally.

Postpone gratification.

Be smart.

...no to all of the above? 

...welcome to the 78%...

yes I know it is hard out there and not everyone is 'smart' but whose fault is it if people borrow too much and get talked into a new F150 every 3 years?

aliens is here's picture

No shyt when all the wealth is flowing to the top .00000001%. We are lucky we don't live in a hut. Yet.

JoeTurner's picture

Yes but Obama was the first half-black president with nice pant creases !

Shitonya Serfs's picture

To be fare, those creases were on his jeans.


Business in the front, party in his back.

AgAuSkeptic's picture

Which fool spends $20K on health insurance!! You don't need health insurance,get rid of your insurance once the mandate goes, then check for effectivity and safety information to compare drugs, talk to your physician and take the cheapest, that simple, here is an example (https://www.rxrankings.com/datatable/default/chart/zzzECA#), better off choosing Altocor over Lipitor, if your physician advises.

Arnold's picture

I removed my own appendix once.
I would not do it again.

BandGap's picture

You only have one so I think that's a safe assumption.

lasvegaspersona's picture

As a licensed physician I insist you return it to its proper place next to your descending colon and cosult a professional.

pods's picture

Or not take a statin at all?

Then you can avoid Type II diabetes, calcification of your arteries, and your body eating it's own muscles for the needed cholesterol.

If your physician advises a statin drug, find another physician.

(I understand your point about paying cash, but statins piss me off)


JohnG's picture

Statins for a couple decades gave my dad Parkinson's as a parting gift.  It's killing him, literally.

SixIsNinE's picture

thankfully my dad has learned from those such as you father and not taken the statins docs have tried to prescribe him

BandGap's picture

Red yeast rice has the same statin found in Lipitor.


And it's cheap.


Those of us in pharma has known this for many years.

Thank me later.

lasvegaspersona's picture

Jason Fung MD on Youtube has some interesting comments on Type 2 diabetes. He has gotten folks off all meds.

I would not suggest you just follow his advice but at least  listen.

Fasting seems to work...it is just not easy though so most folks make excuses as to why they can't do it.

I have given up trying to convince all but the smartest and most motivated patients.

Most just want a pill.

kareninca's picture

Fasting works for men.  It is bad for women; it actually raises their blood glucose levels 

"Another diabetes risk factor that has shown a sex-specific effect is glucose tolerance. After 3 wk of ADF, women but not men had an increase in the area under the glucose curve (36). This unfavorable effect on glucose tolerance in women, accompanied by an apparent lack of an effect on insulin sensitivity, suggests that short-term ADF may be more beneficial in men than in women in reducing type 2 diabetes risk." (http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/86/1/7.full)

Women have spent eons eating little bits of food constantly, since they have been home near the fire/kitchen.  If they don't get their little bits of food, it's because things have fallen apart in a big way, and their stress hormones skyrocket, and that causes diabetes.  Anyway that's my explanation for the sex difference.




ItsOver's picture

They piss me off too - I would never take one after reading about and knowing people with damage.
Yet the medical system is so insane that hospitals get penalized if they don't prescribe HIGH DOSE statins for heart attack and stroke.
Thanks to Big Pharma lobbying and bullying.

TheGardener's picture

I have been forced onto an expensive plan after an almost lifelong abstinence from health insurance. Got by without paid for doctors for decades before and have had doctor friends whos offers of free service I had to decline to stay healthy and alive.

There is a Spanish proverb that says : " where doctors and drugstores are lacking, people die of old age "

Lore's picture

I must speak out against Statins.  Based on my research and experience, they are HORRIBLE for their effects, potentially DEVASTATING, and very much to be avoided.  If your cardiologist plies you with a godforsaken Statin, at very least do some research into the protective effects of supplementing with Coenzyme-Q-10. 



Statins are regarded increasingly by informed critics as a very crude and overprescribed metabolic bulldozer, and potentially the biggest multi-billion-dollar SCAM in the history of Big Pharma. 

Do your own research and pre-empt any involvement with Statins if you possibly can by changing your lifestyle and diet and taking healhy supplements (e.g., look up Vitamin C and Lysine, but also animal-based Omega 3s, B-Complex, E, etc.). Many serious illnesses can be pre-empted and reversed through critical research and responsible behavior.  DYODD before it's too late.