Fewer Americans Living Paycheck to Paycheck

August 15, 2012 Updated Aug 15, 2012 at 11:46 AM EDT

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Fewer Americans Living Paycheck to Paycheck

August 15, 2012 Updated Aug 15, 2012 at 11:46 AM EDT

Fewer Americans are living paycheck to paycheck to make ends meet, according to a new survey by CareerBuilder.

Forty percent of workers report they always or usually live paycheck to paycheck, down from 42 percent in 2011. CareerBuilder says the data represents a recession-era low, continuing a downward trend from a peak of 46 percent in 2008.

"Making ends meet remains a challenge for millions of households, but the situation has improved for workers who've grown more confident with their job security or who've taken steps to pay down debt and save more," said Rosemary Haefner, vice president of human resources at CareerBuilder. "Seventy-two percent of workers report they are more fiscally responsible since the end of the recession, and as the labor market continues to improve, we expect more workers will again be able to spend in ways that will drive the economy forward."

According to the survey, women (44 percent) are more likely than men (36 percent) to live paycheck to paycheck.  Additionally, 25 percent of female workers missed a monthly payment at least once in the past year, compared to 17 percent of men.