New Data from a Harris Poll Survey Commissioned by Funding Our Future and DailyPay Illustrates the Challenges Facing the Youngest Members of the Workforce
- Nearly all Gen Z hourly workers (96%) find managing their finances stressful.
- 85% of Gen Z hourly workers say inflation has negatively impacted their finances in the past year.
- 79% of Gen Z hourly workers report they don’t always have enough cash to pay bills on time.
Despite inflation cooling, many hourly workers in the Gen Z demographic (18-26 years old) are struggling to manage their finances and pay bills on time — and they say it’s having a negative effect on their health.
New research commissioned by Funding Our Future and DailyPay and conducted online by The Harris Poll shows that most (85%) of the hourly workforce in the U.S. say inflation, which is currently around 3%, has negatively impacted their finances over the past year. As a result of this and other economic pressures, nearly all hourly workers (93%) find managing their finances stressful, with 71% saying the stress is having a negative impact on their mental or physical health, and 42% are saving less than they were a year ago.
The stress associated with making ends meet is understandable, especially for younger workers. Whereas only 61% of Gen X (ages 43-58) hourly workers report not always having enough money to pay a bill on time, nearly eight in ten Gen Z (79%) and Millennial (76%, ages 27-42) hourly workers report the same. Nineteen percent of Gen Z hourly workers report turning to payday loans to handle paying bills when they don’t have the cash — a much higher proportion than older hourly workers (6% Gen X).
At the same time, hourly workers in Gen Z are much more likely than those in any other generation to use an on-demand pay app to get the money to pay a bill when they don’t have the cash. Twenty percent of Gen Z hourly workers report using an on-demand pay app compared to only 8% of Millennials and 6% of Gen X hourly workers.
“The youngest members of our labor market are experiencing significant financial stress, which has a detrimental impact on their health as well as the opportunity for a secure future,” said Lettie Nocera, Senior Manager of the Funding Our Future coalition at the Bipartisan Policy Center. “We must continue to advance innovative solutions that meet the evolving needs of all American workers.”
“The data further reinforces hourly workers’ need for options that create financial flexibility to successfully make ends meet,” said Stacy Greiner, Chief Operating Officer, DailyPay. “On-demand pay can provide a valuable lifeline for hourly workers by giving them access to their earned wages to pay bills on time and avoid predatory options such as payday loans.”
According to the survey, 40% of hourly workers say they would benefit from getting paid more frequently at work than they currently do, and 19% would even consider leaving their current employer for one that allows them to access their pay every day, as they earn it. Gen Z hourly workers seem especially eager to take advantage of more flexible payment strategies, with half (50%) saying they would benefit from getting paid more frequently at work than they currently do and about one-third (32%) willing to consider leaving their current employer for one that offers daily access to wages.
This survey was conducted online within the United States by The Harris Poll on behalf of Funding Our Future and DailyPay from June 28-30, 2023, among 707 U.S. hourly workers 18 and older, among whom 141 are Gen Z ages 18-26, 254 are Millennials ages 27-42, and 207 are Gen X ages 43-58. The sampling precision of Harris online polls is measured by using a Bayesian credible interval. For this study, the sample data is accurate to within +/- 4.3 percentage points using a 95% confidence level. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables and subgroup sample sizes, please contact David Schwarz at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Funding Our Future
Funding Our Future, a coalition of more than 60 partner organizations spanning the academic, nonprofit, trade association, and corporate sectors, is dedicated to making long-term financial security a reality for households across the country. The coalition seeks to highlight the gaps in our existing system, encourage more people to save, advance financial literacy, and promote solutions that ultimately improve financial security for all Americans as they age. For more information, visit https://fundingourfuture.us/.
DailyPay, Inc., powered by its industry-leading technology platform, is on a mission to build a new financial system for everyone. DailyPay delivers the industry’s leading on-demand pay solution with modern, insight-driven pay strategies that help America’s leading employers to activate their workforce and build stronger relationships with their employees, so they feel more engaged, work harder, and stay longer. DailyPay works to ensure that money is always in the right place at the right time for employers, merchants, and financial institutions. DailyPay is headquartered in New York City, with operations based in Minneapolis and Belfast. For more information, visit www.dailypay.com/press.