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Half of US workforce suffer poor mental health due to money worries

Data from Salary Finance reveals mental health and personal finance woes driving billions in business losses.


American businesses are losing $500 billion per year due to employees’ personal financial stress, according to a new survey of more than 10,000 Americans by Salary Finance. Nearly one in two US employees are worried about money, leading to depression, panic attacks, sleepless nights and distractions at work; this lost productivity comprises 2.5% of the US GDP.


The highlights from the research include:


  • Americans of all ages worry more about finances than their health, careers or relationships. While 48% of all employees are worried about finances, the relationship between money and job title is surprising. Financial worries decrease as seniority increases until the department head level, then increase back to early career anxieties at the C-level.
  • Most American employees feel limited by their finances. Only 6% of US employees feel that finances are not a lifestyle constraint. Even among employees with more than three months’ savings for unexpected expenses, one in three is still worried about making ends meet.
  • Employees’ financial stress costs companies. Financially stressed employees lose nearly one month (23–31 days) of productive work days per year and are 2.2 times more likely to seek a new job opportunity. Lost productivity, turnover and other factors directly related to poor financial wellness cost the average company 11-14% of their total payroll expense.
  • Financial stress has a significant impact on mental health, productivity, sleep and personal relationships. Specifically, employees with money worries are:
    • 3.4 times more likely to suffer from anxiety and panic attacks and 4 times more likely to suffer from depression
    • 5.8 times more likely not to be able to finish daily tasks and 4.9 times more likely to have lower work quality
    • 8 times more likely to have sleepless nights
    • 4.5 times more likely to have poor relationships with colleagues
  • Income is not an indicator of financial wellness. According to the survey, 34% of US employees are without savings and regularly live paycheck-to-paycheck; of these, one in four earns more than $160,000. Approximately 40% of people making more than $100,000 per year are financially unstable, with less than three months’ savings.

Our research has demonstrated that the connection between financial and mental wellness can deteriorate if solutions are not readily made available to those struggling. Ignoring the impact of financial problems on workplace wellness will only continue to perpetuate this loop. Salary Finance provides a framework for employers to bring these conversations to the forefront and improve financial wellness for employees worldwide.


For more information, and to download the report, visit

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