Purchasing Power® Reports 65% Expect Their Level of Financial Stress to Stay the Same or Increase in 2024

ATLANTA, GA – As employees continue to face financial challenges due to rising inflation and economic uncertainty, among those struggling are people working in the public sector. According to findings from Purchasing Power’s 2023 Public Sector Employee State of Financial Wellness Survey, released today in conjunction with Financial Literacy Month, 83% of American public sector employees experience financial stress, whether physical, mental or emotional. Moreover, 50% feel more financial stress than they did last year during the pandemic, and 65% expect this stress to remain or increase in 2024.

Purchasing Power, a provider of financial wellness solutions to employers including an employee purchase program using payroll deduction, conducts annual research to garner proprietary data on the state of employee financial wellbeing. This year’s survey was developed and conducted specifically among public sector employees to better understand their unique financial needs and concerns, and to address solutions that can help meet their more immediate financial challenges.

Survey data points to key factors affecting public sector employees today:

  • not having enough emergency savings for unexpected expenses (54%)
  • inability to pay all monthly bills on time, living paycheck to paycheck (38%)
  • ability to cover regular expenses but no extra income to build savings (32%)
  • concern over the ability to pay credit card bills on time (26%)
  • incurring additional new debt on top of existing debt (23%)
  • having less than $500 or nothing at all saved for emergencies (34%)

“Along with financial wellness solutions, we remain deeply committed to delivering industry insights and practical data that can help organizations build holistic and inclusive financial wellness programs,” said Trey Loughran, CEO of Purchasing Power. “Public sector organizations are a part of our company’s rich history, and we’ve supported many of the nation’s largest public sector organizations and their employees for more than 20 years. Many of these organizations’ frontline workers helped sustain our communities during the pandemic. This new survey enhances our knowledge of public sector employees and sheds light on the financial challenges and benefit options they need most.”

The survey revealed several additional financial stress points for public sector employees, primarily stemming from current inflation issues. Among them, not being able to follow a monthly budget (41%), nearly or fully maxing-out credit cards (22%), having less in a retirement fund due to recent early withdrawals (18%), and having to postpone medical care or ration necessary prescription medication due to rising costs (15%).

“Given our longstanding history working with public sector organizations, we felt extremely responsible to better understand today’s mindset of the public sector employee as it relates to their financial well-being,” said Assad Lazarus, Chief Client and Development Officer at Purchasing Power. “In addition to learning more about this unique employee population, we wanted to provide public sector organizations with practical, cost-effective options that address their employees’ immediate, urgent short-term financial wellness challenges. Once these current issues can be met more effectively, employees will be in better position to participate more freely with traditional long-term financial programs, such as retirement savings and investments.”

To learn more about the 2023 Public Sector Employee State of Financial Wellness Survey, visit HERE. To learn more about Purchasing Power’s commitment to employee financial wellness and the solutions they offer, visit corp.purchasingpower.com.

Survey Methodology

Data cited is the result of the 2023 Public Sector Employee State of Financial Wellness Survey study by Purchasing Power. Conducted during February 2023, the study explored the financial wellness of over 500 U.S. public sector employees on topics including inflation, cost of living, financial stress, unexpected expenses and more. Respondents cover all age groups (18 and older), regions and genders. The margin of error for this study is +/- 4%.

About Purchasing Power, LLC

Atlanta-based Purchasing Power is a Flexpoint Ford, LLC company. For more information, visit corp.purchasingpower.com.