More than half of Canadians living paycheque to paycheque

Extrait de: More than half of Canadians living paycheque to paycheque, John Samuel  Sep 8, 2011 – 3:00 AM ET | Last Updated: Sep 8, 2011 10:46 AM ET

Two years after the recession officially ended, Canadians continue to struggle to make ends meet.

A new survey from the Canadian Payroll Association found that 57% of Canadians surveyed said they would be in a tough spot if their paycheque was delayed by just one week. What’s more concerning is that that number has remained steady for the past two years. In 2009, when the CPA first released its annual survey of personal financial health, 59% of respondents said they would find it difficult to have their pay held off by a week.

“We didn’t ask specifically why they were living paycheque to paycheque, but when we asked them questions regarding savings, the answers we heard is they’re just not saving a lot of money,” Wendy McLean-Cobban, manager of communications for the CPA, said.

The numbers were worse for specific demographics and regions in Canada.

Of the respondents who were between the ages of 18 and 34, 63% said they would be in financial difficulty if their paycheque was delayed. Single parents were even worse off, with 74% saying they would find it hard to make ends meet.

As far as provinces were concerned, the highest percentages of employees working paycheque to paycheque were in Ontario (60%) and the Atlantic provinces (64%). In the Prairie provinces, 56% of respondents felt that way, while the lowest response came from the West Coast, where only 53% of workers said they lived paycheque to paycheque.

“[The higher results in Ontario and the Atlantic] may be the result of their slower recovery since the last recession,” the CPA said in a release.

A tough financial situation is also leading to postponed retirements for many Canadians. Of the workers surveyed, 40% said they now expect to retire later than planned. Almost half cited lacklustre savings as the main reason behind a delayed retirement.

Three-quarters of those surveyed said they have saved less than a quarter of their retirement savings goal thus far.

“This is particularly troubling when you realize that 71% of the respondents are over the age of 35, with the bulk in their main saving years between 35 and 54,” Dianne Winsor, chairman of the CPA, said.

The survey was conducted between July 6 and August 2, with 2,070 respondents polled across Canada.