The financial well-being of working Canadians has fallen sharply and is at its lowest point since January 2021, according to LifeWorks Inc.’s latest financial well-being index.

It found the number of Canadians reporting a worsening financial situation increased five per cent compared to the previous period and those reporting an increase in financial concerns climbed six per cent from winter 2021. The overall financial well-being index score for summer 2022 was 64 points.

More than half (56 per cent) of respondents agreed education about financial well-being would be beneficial, with respondents aged 40 and younger more likely to see the benefit of this education.

Read: Survey finds Canadians’ financial well-being declines as pandemic drags on

Respondents who reported a reduced salary compared to the previous month had the lowest financial well-being score (49.3), followed by those working fewer hours (53.8). Workers in organizations with 1,001 to 5,000 employees had the most favourable score (67.0), while those working for employers with 51 to 100 employees had the lowest score (60.6).

Younger Canadians were more likely to indicate an impact on their work productivity due to finances. Employees aged 20 to 29 had the least favourable score (48.5), 19 points lower than the national average. The productivity score for those with at least one child (59.1) was more than 10 points lower compared to those without children (70.5). And managers had a lower productivity score (62.8) because of their finances than non-managers (70.4).

“The last quarter has been riddled with heightened financial concerns as inflation, interest rates and overall cost of living have significantly increased,” said Idan Shlesinger, executive vice-president and president of retirement and financial solutions at LifeWorks, in a press release.Canadian organizations have an opportunity to provide much-needed support to their employees at a time when many are struggling to juggle short-term and longer-term priorities. Recognizing that resources aren’t effective if there are accessibility barriers, breaking these down should be a top priority as leaders look to drive their business forward.”

Read: Canadians’ financial well-being up slightly, focus on retirement growing: survey