Financial Stress On the Rise among American Workers

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National Poll: Financial Stress on the Rise among Working Americans

55 percent report moderate or significant levels of stress due to their personal financial situation


Raleigh, N.C. (April 6, 2016) – It’s almost a given that money is a leading source of stress for millions of working Americans. But the number of people impacted by personal financial worries seems to be growing rather than shrinking.

According to new national poll, eight in nine working Americans (88 percent) report that they are stressed or worried on some level about their personal financial situation, or that of their family. Most interesting, though, is that 55 percent said their level of stress had reached either moderate (27 percent) or significant (28 percent) levels – up from 48 percent who reported the same just a year ago.

“Beyond of marriage and personal relationships, money has been most Americans’ leading source of stress for decades,” said Dean Debnam, CEO of Workplace Options, a leading global employee well-being company and the sponsor of the survey. “The fact that most people are worried about their financial situation is nothing new, but the growing number reporting higher stress levels due to money concerns is definitely alarming.”

The overwhelming majority of respondents, 69 percent, said their financial situation is on their mind multiple times per week, with 44 percent saying it’s a daily cause for concern.

Growing Impact on the Workplace

Nearly 7 in 10 workers (68 percent) said they use time during the workday to deal with personal financial matters, up from 59 percent in 2015. And the number of workers who say they’ve taken time off work to deal with a personal financial situation or the stress that comes with it has risen from 36 percent last year to 51 percent this year.

“When any variable begins to impact employee productivity, performance, or attendance, the business community will take notice,” Debnam said. “I think that’s why you’re seeing the concept of financial education or financial support for employees gaining traction with large and mid-sized employers.”

Among respondents, 40 percent said they had spoken to a professional for assistance with their financial situation or the stress that accompanied it, while 42 percent said their employer offered support or benefit programs designed to help employees with financial matters.

Additional Survey Results

The national survey also found the following among employed Americans:

  • Men and women reported the exact same levels of elevated stress due to financial concerns – 55 percent of each group indicated they were moderately or significantly worried.
  • Men (54 percent) were slightly more likely than women (48 percent) to report missing work because of personal financial matters.
  • Men (73 percent) were also slightly more likely than women (66 percent) to use time during the work day to address their personal finance issues.
  • Younger workers (age 18 to 45) reported the highest amounts of stress – 64 percent said they are moderately or significantly worried about their financial situation compared to 48 percent from other age groups.
  • However, younger workers (age 18 to 45) were also less likely to have sought out professional assistance for their financial or stress issues – 37 percent compared to 44 percent among other age groups.

The full results of the poll can be seen here. The poll was commissioned by Workplace Options and conducted by Public Policy Polling from February 16-17. The margin of error is +/- 4.4 percent.

For more information on the poll results, please visit


About Workplace Options

Workplace Options helps employees balance their work, family and personal needs to become healthier, happier and more productive people and professionals. The company’s physical, emotional, and practical well-being services provide information, resources, referrals and consultation on a variety of issues ranging from dependent care and stress management to counseling services and wellness coaching.

Workplace Options is the world’s largest integrated employee support services and work-life provider. Global service centers in North Carolina, Virginia, Washington, Canada, Singapore, Indonesia, India, Japan, Ireland, Portugal, France and the United Kingdom support more than 48 million employees in over 59,000 organizations across 200 countries and territories. To learn more, visit



Jon Weiner

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