Holiday Gift Budgets Reflect Sluggish Economy

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With the holiday shopping season in full stride, examines the pocket book issue of gift giving; Data findings assess gender differences and age ranges between 20 and 60 years of age

PayScale, Inc. today announced new data findings about how individuals are approaching gift budgets this year in light of the current state of the economy. The data is categorized by men vs. women and age groups from 20 to 60 year olds. The report can be found here:

PayScale asked visitors to its website one question “How does your holiday gift budget compare to last year?” and the respondents’ answers reflect how their gift spending might change this holiday season. Not surprisingly, the state of the economy seems to be having an effect on gift budgets.

Survey highlights include:

  •     Women seem to be more concerned about finances as only 54 percent of women are planning to spend the same or more than last year on gifts compared to 63 percent of men. Forty six percent of women plan to spend less compared to 37 percent of men.
  •     The youngest age group we surveyed – ages 20 to 30 – had the highest percentage of people planning to spend more on gifts this year (15 percent) while our oldest age group – ages 50 to 60 – had the lowest (4 percent). However, 50 to 60-year-olds did have the highest percentage of those planning to spend about the same as last year (56 percent).
  •     Those in the 40 to 50 age group had the highest percentage of people planning to spend less on gifts (45 percent).

“The PayScale data on holiday gift giving clearly reflects a U.S. economy marked by uncertainty,” said Katie Bardaro, lead economist, PayScale. Added Bardaro: “Two interesting data points stand out: the more frugal gift giving views of women and that as age increases fewer and fewer are spending more on gifts this year vs. last year.”

About PayScale

Creator of the largest database of individual compensation profiles in the world, PayScale, Inc. provides an immediate and precise snapshot of current market salaries to employees and employers through its online tools and software. PayScale’s products are powered by innovative search and query algorithms that dynamically acquire, analyze and aggregate compensation information for millions of individuals in real time. Publisher of the quarterly PayScale Index(tm), PayScale's subscription software products for employers include PayScale MarketRate(tm) and PayScale Insight(tm). Among PayScale's 2,200 corporate customers are organizations small and large across industries including Zappos, Volunteers of America and Manpower. For more information, visit

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Steven Gottlieb
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