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NEW YORK (CBSMiami) – The stock market has hit record highs this year and the unemployment rate is at a 16 year low. Yet a new survey found most people are struggling to make ends meet.

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Fast food worker Shantel Walker, who makes $12 an hours, said she barely makes enough to scrape.

“A lot of money that I make goes back into my rent,” she said.

In a new survey from, 78-percent of workers say they are living paycheck to paycheck. That’s up from 75-percent last year.

“The trend is continuing and we expect it to go forward,” said Michael Erwin, a Senior Career Advisor at

Erwin said a higher cost of living and stagnant wages are hitting workers across the board. Even 1 in 10 people who earn more than $100-thousand a year say they’re waiting for a pay day to pay the bills.

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“Too many people are in debt and as they approach that retirement age they’re not going to be able to support themselves and be able to retire,” said Erwin.

Trimming monthly expenses can help but the survey found most people are not willing to give up thinks like their home internet connection and smartphone. Erwin advises people to negotiate their bills.

“You should definitely look at all of your bills and call them up and see if you can lower those interest rates, lower those contracts and see if you can save yourself some money, that will go a long way to not living paycheck to paycheck,” he said.

Walker found one way to save money – pedal power.

“My bike it takes me from Point A to Point B,” she said.

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Walker is now working to get a raise at her job and more hours, hoping that will put her on the road to financial security. The survey found woman are more likely than men to live paycheck to paycheck.