Good Jobs Matter: Investing in Worker Financial Health

Wednesday, January 6, 2021

By Karla Henriquez, Senior Associate
and Beth Brockland, Senior Director

Throughout our “Good Jobs Matter” blog series, we have explored the relationship between good jobs and financial health, particularly for low-income workers. But for employers committed to supporting worker financial health, investing in job quality is only part of the solution.

In this final installment of the series, we use the Financial Health Network’s eight financial health indicators to explore additional ways that employers can improve the financial health of their workers.

Workers in Good Jobs Still Struggle With Aspects of Their Financial Health

Using the eight financial health indicators that make up the FinHealth ScoreⓇ, we looked at how workers in good jobs are faring financially. While those in good jobs fare better than workers in mediocre and bad jobs on all of the indicators, they still struggle with aspects of their financial health.

Financial Health Indicators for Workers in Good Jobs

As noted in the chart above, one in five workers in good jobs (22%) can’t pay all of their bills on time, and twice as many (38%) don’t have enough savings to cover three months of living expenses. Short-term savings and the ability to pay bills on time indicate that a person can manage day-to-day expenses and have enough left over to put aside for emergencies. Thus, even for those employers who are offering high-quality jobs, investing in benefits that help workers build short-term savings and manage their money can help workers overcome financial shocks.

In addition to day-to-day financial concerns, 44% of workers in good jobs are not confident that they’re doing what is needed to meet their long-term goals. This can also be due to a lack of workplace benefits that support financial health, even for workers in good jobs. Further analysis showed that 22% of those in good jobs said they do not have access to employer-sponsored retirement plans.

Employers Are Investing in Financial Health Solutions

In the Financial Health Network’s recent survey of HR executives, more than half (54%) said that they incorporate financial health into their human resources department’s strategic plans, and another 28% said they plan to in the next year. For many, this commitment is translating into action, as growing numbers of employers offer benefits to help employees meet their financial needs.

For example, Levi Strauss & Co. offers SaverLife’s short-term savings program for employees, which provides matched savings rewards and allows employees to set goals and access financial resources. According to one study, company employees who participated in the program increased their savings rate by 8.3X in six months. Other examples include Arosa LLC, one of the largest home care providers, which is providing emergency grants to its workers through its partnership with Canary. In addition, Staples partners with TrustPlus to offer its workers access to one-on-one financial coaching.

Improving Job Quality and Financial Health for a Resilient Workforce

Examples like those outlined here demonstrate that many employers are committed to improving the financial well-being of their workers, particularly those who are most vulnerable. We encourage more employers to follow their lead by investing in wages and benefits that support financial health, along with training opportunities to help workers advance in their careers. This will lead to a more productive, engaged, and resilient workforce, improving outcomes both for workers and their employers.

At the Financial Health Network, we help employers assess their workers’ needs and design solutions to improve the financial health of their workforces. Explore our latest workplace research here.

To learn more about job quality and financial health, read our previous Good Jobs Matter blogs on worker finances during COVID-19 and the role of benefits in improving job quality.

The Financial Health Network, in partnership with Target Foundation, is conducting research to improve the financial security of workers and expand economic opportunities for all.

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