ACCC’s Financial Health Index from Q4 2021 finds ‘The Great Resignation’ will carry on.
Boston, MA – January 25, 2022
Confidence in the U.S. economy has been shaken among a large percentage of those polled for the final quarterly ACCC Financial Health Index of 2021, while many are planning to leave their jobs or at least consider it in 2022.
The analysis of household financial health and readiness by American Consumer Credit Counseling indicates that many people closed out 2021 and entered the New Year feeling uneasy about the economy. The Q4 2021 Financial Health Index also suggests one of the biggest socio-economic trends of last year – Americans leaving their jobs in huge numbers – still has a way to go before fizzling out.
A little over 20 percent of those surveyed by ACCC said they are planning to voluntarily change jobs or leave their current employer in 2022. Nearly another 20 percent (19.36) said they are considering it but haven’t decided yet.
“American households have experienced significant emotional and financial trauma in the nearly two years since the global pandemic first emerged here. That trauma led to a lot of deep reflection and some major changes in people’s lives,” said Allen Amadin, President and CEO of American Consumer Credit Counseling. “Some have been forced to find or at least explore new employment. But many others are also making a lifestyle decision to find true satisfaction in challenging times.”
More than 20 million Americans quit their jobs in the second half of 2021 – a trend some observers are calling the “Great Resignation.” ACCC’s Q4 Financial Health Index surveyed 439 respondents aged 25-65 with incomes of $100,000 or less. It was conducted in December.
Record inflation and other factors appear to be taking their toll on confidence in the U.S. economy. More than 60 percent of those surveyed by ACCC said they were either “not so confident” or “not confident at all” in the U.S, economy. Less than 9 percent reported being “very confident.” Inflation is expected to remain high in 2022 after reaching a 39-year peak in November 2021. Housing, food, and energy costs rose in 2021. These are budget categories on which consumers spend a large percentage of their income.
The Financial Health Index is also designed to closely monitor trends in household debt and the ability of consumers to reduce total debt. The most recent poll found that about 56 percent of those surveyed describe their debt-to-income ratio as either “somewhat healthy’ or “very healthy,” and 65 percent are confident they can reduce their debt by at least 10 percent over the next six months. Only 12 percent reported a “very unhealthy” debt-to-income ratio.
“A lot of factors right now are completely out of peoples’ control – like inflation or the changes in public health rules that impact business and the economy,” said Katie Ross, Executive Vice President of American Consumer Credit Counseling. “If you can take some control over your debt and execute a strategy to pay it down, it’s always a smart financial move.”
Income security and employment stability were relatively strong in Q4, according to the Financial Health Index. More than 70 percent of those polled said they were either somewhat confident or very confident in having some kind of employment and a stable income six months from now. And more than 75 percent described their current employment situation as “stable” or “very stable.” Additionally, more people are ranking their household income as “somewhat comfortable.” In December, 51 percent of respondents said they are somewhat comfortable with their current household income, compared to only 43 percent in September.
About American Consumer Credit Counseling
American Consumer Credit Counseling (ACCC) is a nonprofit credit counseling 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to empowering consumers to achieve financial management through credit counseling, debt management, bankruptcy counseling, housing counseling, student loan counseling, and financial education concerning debt solutions. To help consumers reach their goal of debt relief, ACCC provides a range of free consumer personal finance resources on a variety of topics including budgeting, credit and debt management, student loan assistance, youth and money, homeownership, identity theft, senior living, and retirement. Consumers can use ACCC’s worksheets, videos, calculators, and blog articles to make the best possible decisions regarding their financial future. ACCC holds an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau and is a member of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling® (NFCC®). For more information or to access free financial education resources, log on to ConsumerCredit.com or visit http://www.consumercredit.com/financial-education.aspx