Wage Garnishment in the United States: New Facts from Administrative Payroll Records
Wage garnishment allows creditors to deduct money directly from workers’ paychecks to repay defaulted debts. We document new facts about wage garnishment between 2014–2019 using data from a large payroll processor who distributes paychecks to approximately 20% of U.S. private-sector workers. As of 2019, over one in every 100 workers was being garnished for delinquent debt. The average garnished worker experiences garnishment for five months, during which approximately 11% of gross earnings is remitted to their creditor(s). The beginning of a new garnishment is associated with an increase in job turnover rates but no intensive margin change in hours worked.
Anthony DeFusco, Brandon Enriquez, Maggie Yellen
DeFusco, Anthony, Brandon Enriquez, and Maggie Yellen. 2023. Wage Garnishment in the United States: New Facts from Administrative Payroll Records.LINK