09/10/2015 01:29 EDT | Updated 09/10/2015 01:59 EDT

Half Of Albertans Living Paycheque to Paycheque, Survey Finds

40 per cent of Albertans feel overhwelmed by their debt.

Annie Engel via Getty Images
young woman with pile of coins

Albertans have found themselves living paycheque to paycheque with no emergency fund, a new survey has found.

Forty-eight per cent of Albertans would struggle with meeting financial obligations if their paycheque was delayed for just one week, according to the seventh annual National Payroll Week Research Survey, conducted by The Canadian Payroll Association.

If an emergency arose in the next month, 25 per cent would be unable to come up with $2,000.

The survey also found that 40 per cent of Albertans feel overwhelmed by debt – four per cent higher than the national average.

The survey sampled 3,605 employees across a variety of Canadian industry sectors. It also revealed that savings rates are meagre—while Canadians report trying to save more, few are actually succeeding. Forty-six per cent of employed Albertans (and 47 per cent of Canadians) are able to put away only five per cent of their pay. The survey's report notes that financial experts recommend saving at least 10 per cent of net pay.

This is putting Albertans far behind on their retirement goals. Alberta is the province with the most employees substantially under-saving for retirement, with 81 per cent having set aside a quarter or less of what they need to meet retirement goals (compared to 76 per cent of Canadians overall).


Photo gallery Timeline: Oilpatch Layoffs Of 2015 See Gallery