A large proportion of Canadian workers are living in the shadow of debts that they say are overwhelming.

Four in 10 respondents to a new survey by the Canadian Payroll Association expressed that sentiment, up 5% from a year ago; while more than a third said their debt levels have increased year-over-year.

A higher cost of living is the biggest concern followed by higher interest and mortgage rates – 96% believe costs will rise over the next year.

Debt is such a concern for workers that 46% say that it impacts their workplace performance, however a similar share say they would feel uncomfortable discussing their financial situation with peers.

Trust in their pay cheques
The survey also reveals that most Canadian workers trust that their pay check is correct with just 36% reviewing pay statements.

Workers are open to the prospect of receiving help with financial management through their workplace with 84% saying this would be of interest; saving and planning for the future is the preferred topic.

"Decreased productivity, absenteeism and high turnover are just some of the negative ways that stress arising from finances can affect employees," says Peter Tzanetakis, President of the CPA. "Employers are uniquely positioned to support employee financial wellness, either by offering them financial resources or methods to help employees save."  

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