Salary / Pay Day cycles in the USA

Profile picture of the author Neil Morgan by Neil Morgan Posted: 11/24/2008
Hi Guys

This is a question for our friends in the USA.

Could you explain when people tend to get paid in the USA?

For example, here in the UK, most people get paid once per calendar month into their bank account. Typically it's something like this:

- on the last working day of the month
- on the same date each month (eg 28th)
- on the last Thursday of the month

I'm trying to tie this into some peaks and troughs that I've noticed for years in sales stats and it will be interesting to see if I've been right in my assumptions about American payday patterns.

Thanks again for your help.

Cheers,

Neil
#cycles #payday #salary #usa

  • Profile picture of the author Canada
    Canada
    Currently, my family gets a U.S. paycheck weekly on Wednesdays, and a Cdn. paycheck bi-weekly on Thursdays.
  • Profile picture of the author Allen Graves
    Allen Graves
    Bi-weekly on a Friday. Either handed a check (cheque) or direct-deposited into the bank.

    AL
  • Profile picture of the author Neil Morgan
    Neil Morgan
    Thanks guys.

    Allen - good to see you corrected your, cough, English.

    Any more feedback?

    Cheers,

    Neil
  • Profile picture of the author GarrieWilson
    GarrieWilson
    Weekly, bi-weekly and monthly.

    Most of the people I know who have "9-5s" get paid bi-weekly if it's a large company and weekly if it's small or a mom-n-pop shop. With Fridays being the norml but some do it on like the 2nd and 4th Wednesdays of the month.

    Garrie
  • Profile picture of the author macki
    macki
    I get paid on the 15th and the last working day of the month. The pay cutoff is 5 days before that.
  • Profile picture of the author Jared Alberghini
    Jared Alberghini
    I personally get paid every day for every sale of my own products... no need to wait for me

    - Jared
  • Profile picture of the author Michael Oksa
    Michael Oksa
    Hi Neil,

    Let's see...I've worked about 30 different jobs, mostly blue-collar or service, before giving up having a boss.

    All of them either paid weekly, or bi-weekly. And either on Thursday or Friday.

    Part of it may depend on if you have a specific market in mind. Hourly wage earners vs. sallaried or independent workers, for example.

    All the best,
    Michael
  • Profile picture of the author cclou
    cclou
    Hourly people are most likely to get paid weekly. Often on Fridays, but my husband gets paid on Wednesday.

    Salary seems more likely to pay bi-weekly or monthly.
  • Profile picture of the author tiger325
    tiger325
    1st, 15th , 10th and 25th
  • Profile picture of the author bgmacaw
    bgmacaw
    Most companies that use a payroll processing service like ADP get paid every other Friday. Every company I've worked for in the past 15 years or so has had this kind of schedule and it's probably the most common for non-sales white collar workers.

    Large companies that have a union contract generally pay their white collar workers on the same schedule. The ones where I've done some contract work have had a 1st and 15th payment schedule.

    Smaller employers in retail, food service and other places where there is a large part-time or transient work force usually pay weekly.

    Commissioned sales persons and government workers, including the military, are usually paid on a monthly basis.
  • Profile picture of the author ShayRockhold
    ShayRockhold
    If someone gets a disability or retirement check, it is usually deposited on the 1st of the month.

    Also, you can get paid on the 1st and 15th, in addition to what has already been mentioned.
  • Profile picture of the author Neil Morgan
    Neil Morgan
    Thanks guys!

    It's interesting that most 'salaried' workers seem to get paid bi-monthly. Maybe that happens here in the UK but I've never heard of it or experienced it. Here in the UK, salaried workers get paid once per calendar month during the last few days of the month which is therefore when they have most money to spend.

    I'll explain why I was asking the question.

    For as long as I can remember, my sales have always been slightly lower for 2 or 3 days around the 20th of the month. It's the same almost every month and I've never been able to work out why it is. Traffic does not go down.

    I'm not sure if the bi-monthly payment patterns explains it or not. Mabye there are other differences such as the date that credit card and other bills fall due.

    Thanks again.

    Cheers,

    Neil
  • Profile picture of the author Johnny Slater
    Johnny Slater
    Here is the standard for most US workers...

    You get paid every two weeks. Some companies pay on specific days of the month... the 5th and the 20th while others just pay out every other Friday regardless of what day of the month it falls on.

    With the 5th and 20th payments you always get 2 checks every month while with the every Friday you will end up with some months where you get 3 checks.

    Although this is pretty much the standard there are countless ways people get paid. I have worked jobs where I have gotten paid every other Friday, every Friday, at the end of each day, on the 5th and 20th, and on the 1th and 15th.

    It can change up quite a bit depending on what type of industry you are working in.

    Btw.. as was mentioned before people getting welfare checks get paid the 1st of every month, so by the 20th money is starting to get tight.
  • Profile picture of the author Angela V. Edwards
    Angela V. Edwards
    Originally Posted by Johnny Slater View Post
    Here is the standard for most US workers...

    You get paid every two weeks. Some companies pay on specific days of the month... the 5th and the 20th while others just pay out every other Friday regardless of what day of the month it falls on.

    With the 5th and 20th payments you always get 2 checks every month while with the every Friday you will end up with some months where you get 3 checks.

    Although this is pretty much the standard there are countless ways people get paid. I have worked jobs where I have gotten paid every other Friday, every Friday, at the end of each day, on the 5th and 20th, and on the 1th and 15th.

    It can change up quite a bit depending on what type of industry you are working in.

    Btw.. as was mentioned before people getting welfare checks get paid the 1st of every month, so by the 20th money is starting to get tight.
    Yep, you are correct. All of my jobs have been paid biweekly; usually every other friday. I work in my state's capital city, Olympia, and the State Workers get paid on the 5th and the 20th. And the people getting welfare checks get paid, as you said, on the first of the month.

    Social Security checks are a bit different in that not everyone gets their check the same day of the month. They are paid out once per month based on some sort of determination which is different for each person...I can't recall what that determination is.
  • Profile picture of the author Neil Morgan
    Neil Morgan
    Thanks again guys.

    Btw.. as was mentioned before people getting welfare checks get paid the 1st of every month, so by the 20th money is starting to get tight.
    Johnny, I don't think that can be it for 2 reasons:

    1. My customers tend to be business owners rather than people on welfare.

    2. After the 20th (ish) the sales pick up again to their normal level.

    I may just have to remain puzzled by this one!

    Cheers,

    Neil
  • Profile picture of the author Kay King
    Kay King
    Could be that the first paycheck of the month goes to pay the bills - and the second paycheck has disposable income in it. That's the most likely explanation I can think of.

    kay
  • Profile picture of the author naruq
    naruq
    I would not know. I haven't collected a paycheck since March 1988. All of my income comes from my online and offline businesses.
  • Profile picture of the author Neil Morgan
    Neil Morgan
    Thanks Kay and others.

    Of course, it will likely be a combination of lots of things - it's all about money coming in and money going out.

    My feeling is that the 2nd pay in the month is simply boosting sales back up, whereas, in the UK, there would be no such boost because of our once-per-month structure.

    Thanks - this has helped me to understand things a bit better, and hopefully others too.

    Cheers,

    Neil

Related discussions