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It’s Hard to Believe In the American Dream When You’re Living Paycheck to Paycheck…

Updated: Sep 26, 2023

  • In November 2022, 63% of U.S. consumers reported living paycheck to paycheck. One-third of consumers report that they are currently not saving any money, with 60% of these consumers also saying they have no pre-existing savings. (1)

  • In 2020, 73.3 million workers age 16 and older in the United States were paid at hourly rates, representing 55.5 percent of all wage and salary workers. Over the entire 34-year period between 1979 and 2013, the hourly wages of middle-wage workers were stagnant, rising just 6 percent—less than 0.2 percent per year. (2,3)

  • 37% of Americans lack enough money to cover a $400 emergency expense, up from 32% in 2021.

  • Almost 25% of workers of color report having to have two jobs to make ends meet (vs 17% for white workers). (5)

  • Since 1965, and accounting for inflation, home prices have jumped 118%, while real incomes have only increased by 15%. That’s why the goal of home ownership – the classic route for regular folks to accumulate wealth – is increasingly out of reach for so many. (6)

  1. PYMNTS-New-Reality-Check-December-2022.pdf



  4. Federal Reserve 2022 Survey




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