15 Stats Employers Need to Know About Hourly Workers Today

Our mission at Branch has always been to support the hourly worker. We're constantly researching and surveying Branch users so we can continue to understand their challenges and concerns. We recently announced findings from our second annual Branch Report, which examined the financial, work, and lifestyle interests of today’s hourly workers. 

In surveying over 3,000 hourly employees across a variety of sectors including food service, retail, and healthcare, the report reveals how much of their priorities and concerns have changed because of COVID-19. In this post, we want to share 15 stats from the report that are CRUCIAL to know right now—and how you might take them into consideration for the second half of the year.

Employers are naturally the first entry point into the financial system for most people. We hope these stats will help put you in your employees’ shoes, so that you, too, can better understand the concerns and priorities of today’s hourly workers.

1. 94% of hourly employees say accessing their pay before pay day would be helpful, a 14 percent increase from last year. [Tweet this]

Learn more about instantly paying employees in our Ultimate Guide to Earned Wage Access.

2. 76% of hourly employees have increased their use of contactless and digital payments. [Tweet this]

Not only are digital payments more convenient, but as the past few months have shown us, they’re safer too. Read more about going cashless

3. 77% cite higher wages as what they look for most out of a workplace, a 14 percent increase from last year.  [Tweet this]


4. The most costly emergency reported by hourly workers has been auto/transportation-related (47%).  [Tweet this]

Helping your employees access some of their earned wages ahead of time is a financial wellness benefit that can help them overcome life’s unexpected emergencies—and avoid overdraft fees.


5. Among preferred payment methods, debit cards (78%) continue to be hourly workers’ top choice for the second year in a row, with cash a distant second (7%). [Tweet this]


6. No fees (47%) and good customer support (23%) are the most desired banking features by hourly employees.
[Tweet this]


7. 33% of hourly employees are reevaluating the type of job they want, due to the pandemic. [Tweet this]

Keeping an eye on retention rates is just as important as attracting new employees, too. You want to make sure that your employees feel valued and seen in real, meaningful ways.


8. The preference for contactless payments nearly tripled with adoption of digital wallets and payment apps increasing to 11 percent (4% last year). [Tweet this]

Using digital payment methods also saves you trips to the bank and the need for paper checks, which can be a surprisingly expensive line item


9. 42% hourly workers cited safety and fear of exposure as their biggest concern for returning/going to work. [Tweet this]


10. 80% of hourly workers have less than $500 saved for an emergency.
[Tweet this]

Even before the pandemic, the vast majority of hourly workers had been living paycheck to paycheck and had very little saved. The decrease in hours and economic uncertainty have created even more challenges for hourly employees looking to establish financial security.


11. Even with stimulus checks, 76% of employees have already delayed or missed a bill payment. [Tweet this]

Did you know that financial stress can affect your employees’ physical health, too? Finding ways to reduce the financial burden on your employees can benefit your entire organization.


12. Restaurants/Food Service employees have the highest percentage of reduced hours or unpaid leave due to COVID-19 at 78%. [Tweet this]


13. Only 28% of hourly employees are maintaining the same level of pay since COVID-19.
[Tweet this]

Whether due to a reduction of hours or pay cuts, many people are experiencing a tighter budget these days. Finding ways to help your employees balance their budget can be one way of helping them combat financial stress.


14. 38% of hourly and salaried employees say paid sick leave is the top form of financial assistance offered by their employers. [Tweet this]

In addition to offering sick time, consider other ways you can help your employees if they get sick and need shift coverage. Can you make it easier for them to swap shifts on their own without manager approval? Above all, you want to promote financial wellness benefits (and a company culture) that allow people to take time off to care for their physical health.

15. When comparing social media platforms, Facebook grew its lead over Instagram (83% vs. 73%) in terms of the most used platform for hourly workers. [Tweet this]


About Branch

Branch is the only challenger bank that partners with employers to help Americans grow financially. Employers turn to Branch to reduce the costs of paper checks and pay cards by offering Branch as a free financial wellness benefit and banking alternative. 

Employees that sign up with Branch can receive a zero-fee bank account, debit card, free instant access to earned wages, tips, and mileage, and auto-budgeting tools to help them manage their cash flow between paychecks. Branch has partnered with some of the nation’s largest employers and is adding new employers daily in retail, restaurant, logistics, manufacturing, and healthcare.


Learn More About The Financial, Work, and Lifestyle Interests of Hourly Workers in the 2020 Branch Report

Our second edition of the Branch Report gives insights into the financial, work, and lifestyle interests of over 3,000 hourly workers. Inside the report we take an in-depth look at how much of their priorities and concerns have changed since last year, especially in light of COVID-19. Get the report today:

Download the Branch Report


Download Branch on the iOS App StoreGet Branch on Google PlayScroll back to top