An estimated 60% of illness is directly or indirectly caused by financial stress, costing most large and medium sized companies millions of dollars per year in health care expenses. The American Psychological Association (APA) recognizes financial stress as the leading cause of unhealthy behaviors like smoking, weight gain, and alcohol and drug abuse. The direct link financial stress has on employees’ health and overall wellness has even been found in recent studies to cause serious diseases like metabolic syndrome.
Because of these serious health risks that employees with financial stress face, and the potential effects this has on employers and our economy as a whole, we have compiled this report to gauge employees’ perceived levels of financial stress and their causes.
Summary of findings:
- Financial stress is continuing to decrease in a trend seen since 2010. Poor money management skills continue to be the key driver of employee financial stress.
- The key demographic groups most vulnerable to financial stress were women, employees age 30 to 44, and middle-income Americans making $60,000-$74,999 per year.
- Married employees actually had lower levels of financial stress compared to single employees.
- Women are three times as likely as men to face overwhelming financial stress.
- Middle-income employees are under more financial stress than low- or high-income employees.