Despite inflation being a bit lower than a year ago, the number of American households living paycheck to paycheck has not changed.
According to a report prepared by Lending Tree and Pymnts, 62.5% of Americans reported living paycheck to paycheck in September 2023, which is unchanged from a year earlier.
According to the consumer price index, the annual rate of inflation reached 3.7% in September 2023. In September 2022, the annual rate of inflation was 8.2%, according to the consumer price index.
In the last two years, the data indicates that the number of Americans living paycheck to paycheck remains level, except for around tax refund season, when the percentage drops.
The fewest number of Americans reporting living paycheck to paycheck in recent years came in the middle of 2021, shortly after many Americans received a $2,000 stimulus check from the government. That year also featured an expanded child tax credit.
In both cases, the government assistance came nearly a year after the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and after Democrats took control of Congress and the White House.
In April 2021, the percentage of Americans living paycheck to paycheck dropped to 52%.
About 2 in 3 of those who live paycheck to paycheck say they do not have issues paying bills. The data shows that the number of Americans living paycheck to paycheck and struggling to pay bills has grown in the last year.
Income tends to play a factor in the data. About 78.7% of Americans living in households earning under $50,000 were living paycheck to paycheck in September 2023. By comparison, 44.1% of Americans in households earning over $100,000 a year lived paycheck to paycheck.
The data also showed that 12% of respondents reported spending more than they earned from March through September.