New Financial Health Data Finds that Despite a Majority of Workers in Low-wage Jobs Deemed Family Breadwinners, Only 13% are Considered Financially Healthy

New report offers first-ever glimpse into the financial health of workers in low-wage jobs revealing that many struggle with savings, insurance coverage, and paying for basic living expenses

Chicago, IL, July 28, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Today, the Financial Health Network, the nation’s authority on financial health, released the Financial Health of Workers in Low-Wage Jobs Report, offering a rare glimpse of workers earning less than $17.00 an hour or up to an annual salary of $35,360. Key findings show that workers in low-wage jobs struggle with savings, adequate insurance coverage, and paying for essentials like housing and food.

In fact, though a vast majority (72%) of low-wage workers are the primary household earners, nearly two-thirds (63%) were found to be Financial Vulnerable, 24% Financially Coping, and only 13% Financially Healthy. The report also offers a first-of-its-kind look into employment-related factors, such as benefits and the impact on workers’ financial health, revealing that workers in low-wage jobs who believe their employers help them improve their financial health are more satisfied and committed to their employer.

A synopsis of key findings around the three largest areas of concern for workers in low-wage jobs:

Spending and bill paying

  • More than half (51%) of workers in low-wage jobs report paying all of their bills on time compared to almost three quarters (72%) of all workers
  • Roughly one-third of workers in low-wage jobs reported having trouble paying their rent or mortgage (31%), struggling to pay medical bills (32%), or worrying about running out of food (37%) in the 12 months before the survey

Long-term savings

  • More than a third (36%) of workers in low-wage jobs would be unable to cover one month of living expenses with savings.
  • Two-in-five (40%) workers in low-wage jobs report having zero dollars saved for retirement. More than seven-in-ten (73%) have less than $10,000 in retirement savings.
  • A vast majority of (70%) low-wage workers report that they are not confident their households are doing enough to meet their long-term goals.

Health insurance coverage 

  • Only one-third (33%) of workers in low-wage jobs receive health insurance coverage through their employers.
  • More than half (52%) of those not receiving health insurance from their employer say that they are not eligible.
  • Nearly half (48%) of workers in low-wage jobs who are eligible for employer-provided health insurance but do not participate say it is because of high costs.

“Workers in low-wage jobs are constantly under financial stress that takes a toll on many aspects of their lives,” said Beth Brockland, Vice President of Workplace Solutions at the Financial Health Network. “Employers have a lot to gain by investing in the financial health of their workers, not only to improve workers’ wellbeing but to foster more engaged and productive employees.”

An estimated 53 million people in America between the ages of 18 and 64 work in low-wage jobs, 44% of the entire workforce. One in five (21%) workers in low-wage jobs say that their financial stress negatively impacts their performance at work. In fact, workers in low-wage jobs report spending an average of 1.3 hours per week dealing with personal finance-related issues when they are at work, a total of 66 hours per year of lost productivity. Such findings underscore the win-win nature of investing in worker financial health. 

The full study can be found here and for more information on how to engage in workplace financial health, visit

About the Financial Health Network

The Financial Health Network is the leading authority on financial health. We are a trusted resource for business leaders, policymakers and innovators united in a mission to improve the financial health of their customers, employees and communities. Through research, advisory services, measurement tools, and opportunities for cross-sector collaboration, we advance awareness, understanding and proven best practices in support of improved financial health for all. For more on the Financial Health Network, go to and follow us on Twitter at @FinHealthNet.



Workers in low-wage jobs by financial health tier.

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