11.10.14 |
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Study Reveal Trends in Garnishment Rates by Age, Gender and Compensation

A lack of data about current trends in U.S. wage garnishments led the ADP Research Institute® to analyze aggregate, anonymous payroll data from 2013 comprised of 13 million employees age 16 and older.  The study found the highest garnishment rates among those in their middle ages and earning mid-range salaries. The study also found that rates are mostly comparable among men and women, except for one specific type of garnishment.

Previous posts covered the top reasons for garnishments and the differences in garnishment rates by industry and geography.  This post will examine the differences between ages, genders and compensation levels.

Garnishment by gender In terms of age groups, garnishments saw a notable increase beginning at age 25 and a decrease in the late 50s.  Specifically, the study found the highest garnishment rate – 10.5 percent – among those aged 35 to 44.  This age range is typically the time of peak debt load, child rearing and divorce.  The groups with the lowest garnishment rates are those aged 16 to 24 and 65+ with 2.1 percent and 2.3 percent, respectively.

For nearly all categories of garnishments, the rates are similar for men and women with the exception of child support: 5.8 percent of men and 0.6 percent of women have their wages garnished for child support payments.  This finding may reflect that more women than men have physical custody of children, making men more likely to be required to pay child support.

The study also found that garnishment rates are highest among mid-range wage earners, with 10 percent of employees earning $25,000-$39,999 per year having their wages garnished.  Not surprisingly, employees earning more than $200,000 annually have the lowest garnishment rate at 1.8 percent.

For a free copy of the ADP Research Institute white paper that outlines the study’s key findings, visit Garnishment: The Untold Story.




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