88% of U.S. employees are stressed due to personal finances: survey

The majority (88%) of U.S. employees are stressed or worried on some level about their personal financial situation, according to a new survey by Workplace Options.

More than half (55%) of respondents said their level of stress had reached either moderate (27%) or significant (28%) levels – up from 48% who reported the same a year ago.

Despite these findings, only 425 of respondents said their employer offered support or benefit programs designed to help employees with money matters.

“Beyond of marriage and personal relationships, money has been most Americans’ leading source of stress for decades,” said Dean Debnam, CEO of global employee well-being company Workplace Options. “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.”

Read: 45% of Canadians have a low level of financial wellness: survey

More than two-thirds (68%) of respondents said they use time during the workday to deal with personal financial matters, up from 59% in 2015. And the percentage of respondents who have taken time off work to deal with a personal financial situation, or the stress that comes with it, has risen from 36% in 2015 to 51% in 2016.

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

“When any variable begins to impact employee productivity, performance or attendance, the business community will take notice,” said Debnam. “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.”

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The survey also found:

  • 40% of respondents have spoken to a professional for assistance with their financial situation or the stress that accompanied it.
  • Men and women reported the exact same levels of elevated stress due to financial concerns – 55% of each group indicated they were moderately or significantly worried.
  • Men (54%) were slightly more likely than women (48%) to report missing work because of personal financial matters.
  • Men (73%) were also slightly more likely than women (66%) to take time off during the work day to address their personal finance issues.
  • Younger workers (age 18 to 45) reported the highest amounts of money-related stress – 64% said they are moderately or significantly worried about their financial situation compared to 48% from other age groups.
  • But these younger workers were also less likely to have sought out professional assistance for their financial or stress issues – 37% compared to 44% among other age groups.

Read: More Canadians saving for retirement than Americans: survey