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Study shows nearly half of employees see income change by at least 10% over a 12-month period

How variable is income over time? A study based on income data from over 4,800 employers showed that incomes change even more than you might think.

Looking over a one-year timespan, the study showed that income changed more than 10% for nearly half (44%) of the 26 million individuals in the study. That includes rising and falling incomes. And nearly a third (32%) saw their incomes change by more than 15%.

Whether you're concerned with quality control in your benefit population or the status of non-custodial parents who owe child support, the study underlines the challenge all agencies face: income is a moving target. This study shows that the target might be moving even faster than you thought.

Nearly half of hourly workers saw a change of at least 10% (up or down) to their income over a one-year study of the complete employee populations of more than 4,800 employers.

(Source: Equifax Workforce Solutions)

Income change is more the rule than the exception even for salaried workers. Income changes are even greater for hourly employees. (See chart) For hourly workers, 47% saw a change of at least 10%, and 27% saw a change (either up or down) of at least 20%.

The study showed that employees were more likely to see an increase than a decrease: 64% of individuals who qualified for the study had an increase in income, whereas 32% had a decrease. Only 4% had no change.

The study was based on income data in The Work Number®, the nation's largest repository of employment and income data direct from employers. The study examined incomes from 2013 and 2014 for individuals who had income data in The Work Number in both years.

You can't predict how your clients' income will change over time but you can be sure incomes will change – a lot – for many of them. Equifax Verification Services has tools to help you to improve service to your clients and protect the integrity of your programs. To learn more, please send us an email to with "tracking income changes" in the subject line.

Newsletter: January 2016

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