Financial stress is rising in Australia

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Money worries are on the rise in Australia.

One in four Australians with a job find it difficult to make ends meet and say they have low confidence in their financial position.

The confidence level in personal finances has fallen to 48% from 54% two years ago despite an increase in disposable cash held, rising 6.3% over the past two years, according to the AMP 2016 Financial Wellness report.

“It’s important we find ways to address levels of financial stress in the workplace,” says Vicki Doyle, Director Corporate Superannuation at AMP.

People with financial stress are more likely to be unable to work due to stress-related sickness.

The financial pressure from paying off a home loan is increasing in Australia, according to Moody’s. The proportion of Australian residential mortgages more than 30 days in arrears are at their highest level in three years

The AMP research, from interviews of 2,000 people, shows financially stressed employees lose on average 6.9 hours of productive work a week and on average are absent another 1.3 hours.

Employees in Brisbane are most financially stressed (30%) while those in Tasmania demonstrate the lowest levels of money worries.

Compared to 2014, financial stress levels in Melbourne have fallen from 32% in 2014 to 19% in 2016.

Here are the stress levels by city, according to AMP:

Financial stress is highest among workers in accommodation and food services (35%). Employees are also at high risk in healthcare and social assistance (32%) and administrative services (31%).

Australians say common triggers for financial stress are bad debt (50% of stressed workers), the need to save for retirement (35%) and providing for their family (34%).

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