By the Numbers: Half of working Canadians living paycheque to paycheque

By the Numbers: Half of working Canadians living paycheque to paychequeToronto – September 9, 2017 – A new survey by the Canadian Payroll Association (CPA) finds that, despite an improving economy, roughly half of working Canadians are living paycheque to paycheque, and are therefore unable to save adequately for retirement.

As workers and their families continue to grapple with stagnant incomes and rising expenses and debt, many are worried about their retirement and are working longer as a result, according to the study. Below is a summary of the CPA survey’s findings:

47– Percentage of working Canadians who say it would be difficult to meet their financial obligations if their paycheque was delayed by one week.

41– Percentage of workers who spend all of or more than their net pay, with nothing left for savings. The main explanation given for this situation is higher living costs.

42 – Percentage of employees who are able to save 5% or less of their earnings, well short of the 10% of net pay that is recommended by financial planning experts.

22 – Percentage of working Canadians who say they could not come up with $2,000 within a month for an emergency expense.

35 – Percentage of workers who feel overwhelmed by their level of debt.

94 – Percentage of Canadians carrying debt, with the most common debt being mortgages (28%), credit cards (17%), car loans (18%), and lines of credit (17%).

12 – Percentage of employees who think they will never be debt-free.

46 – Percentage of working Canadians who say they will now have to work longer than they planned five years ago, mainly because they are “not saving enough” for retirement.

74 – Percentage of workers who claim they have saved only one-quarter or less of what they feel they will need to retire comfortably.

39 – Percentage of employees who think the economy in their city or town will improve in the near future. 

Source:“Canadian Payroll Association 2017 Survey of Employed Canadians,” Canadian Payroll Association, Online, 6 September 2017,