Bankrate.com’s August Financial Security Index found Americans still carry more worries about job security and retirement savings than they did in 2010.
The overall reading improved slightly, from 97.9 to 99.0. Readings less than 100 indicate that Americans have lower financial security than 12 months prior. The index has been below 100 in 19 of the 21 months since its inception in Dec. 2010.
“The stock market hitting a three-month high, a better-than-expected July jobs report, and verbal assurance from the President of the European Central Bank that they’ll do ‘whatever it takes’ to preserve the Euro all resonated with American consumers in the 10 days preceding the polling in early August,” said Greg McBride, CFA, Bankrate.com’s senior financial analyst, in a news release. “All five components of the Financial Security Index – job security, savings, debt, net worth and overall financial situation – rose this month, but that was not enough to tip the index back into positive territory.”
The survey, conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates International through telephone interviews Aug. 2-5, with 1,005 adults living in the continental U.S., found that the highest-income households – $75,000 per year and above – are reporting lower job security than the overall population. Just 21% of high-income households feel more secure in their jobs today than they did one year ago, compared with 26% of all workers.
On the savings front, fewer people are saving less – 18% compared to 29% last year – while more than half – 55% – are saving the same as last year. Just 18% of working Americans are saving more for retirement in 2012 than they did in 2011, comparable to 15% last year, and 9% of Americans say they haven’t contributed to a retirement account either this year or last, up from 6% last year.
–Alanna Stage, @AlannaTweets