Housing supplants child care as No. 1 stressor for employees
ComPsych reported that queries related to moving rose 14% in the first half of this year compared to the previous six months, illustrating the hardships even the employed are suffering because of a continued downturn in the nation's housing market.
"The surprise was the moving calls outpaced the child-care calls for the first time since we've been in business," said Jennifer Hudson, a spokeswoman for the 26-year-old firm.
The firm received 10,250 calls from employees requesting assistance with housing, compared with 8,000 calls related to child-care issues.
Employees who have lost homes to foreclosures, as well as those who are searching for smaller apartments or more affordable housing, caused the spike in housing-related calls, according to the ComPsych report.
Even as the percentage of foreclosures dropped in the second quarter, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association, short-term delinquencies were on the rise in what some see as a sign that another wave of foreclosures could be close at hand.
Almost three out of four calls to ComPsych concerned finding a cheap apartment, with 6% asking for financial assistance and 5% for help in researching local utilities and other amenities. The remaining questions dealt with shelter, buying a home and other relocation needs, according to the report.
Employees are also facing other financial stressors, including caring for elderly relatives, and health care issues. Elder-care related calls to ComPsych through June increased 23% over the previous six months, with health-care questions increasing 11%. Low-cost care led the list of information requests.
ComPsych serves more than 13,000 organizations that employ more than 33 million people in the U.S. and 100 countries.