How Many Pay Periods Are In a Year

How Many Pay Periods Are In a Year?

Depending on the number of days we have in a year, one can get payment periods as many as 52 and as few as 12. By the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), employers are required to meet each payment period as agreed with the employee. In this article, we cover everything you need to know about pay periods.

When it comes to pay periods, it’s crucial for employers to adhere to the guidelines set by the FLSA. However, financial emergencies can strike at any time, and employees may need access to funds before their next paycheck. This is where cash advance apps and borrowing money come into play.

In this article, we’ll not only discuss the importance of pay periods, but we’ll also delve into the world of cash advance apps and provide tips on how to borrow money responsibly. We’ll equip you with the knowledge you need to navigate the complex financial landscape and make informed decisions that benefit you in the long run.

Pay Period: What Is It?

A payment period is the agreed-upon time employers pay their employees, which could be weekly, bi-weekly, semi-monthly, or monthly. This period typically is the time window between the day after you collect your paycheck and the next payday.

The intervals help the employer track the number of hours the employees work so they can be duly compensated. Aside from that, a payment period establishes a consistent payroll process for the company and predetermined how much of the paychecks goes into taxes and employee benefits.

How Do Pay Periods Work?

Payment periods determine how many paychecks in a year you’re entitled to. The employment contract you get from your employer will state the payment period schedules, which can range from once a week to once a month.

As established, the payroll run counts from the day after your last paycheck to the next payday. An agreed payment period allows salaried employees to sue a company for rights violations if they fail to meet the agreed schedules.

2024 Payroll Calendar (Schedule)

The table below shows the common payroll run for employers using a biweekly pay period schedule in the United States, according to the US Department of Interior for 2024. It’s a leap year, with 29 days in February. Still, the year has 52 weeks and 26 paychecks for a biweekly schedule. More info on payroll in 2024 is provided in the 2024 payroll calendar

Month Start of bi-weekly pay period End of bi-weekly payment schedule
January 30-12-2023




February 28-01-2024




March 25-02-2024




April 24-03-2024




May 21-04-2024




June 19-05-2024






July 30-06-2024




August 28-07-2024




September 25-08-2024




October 22-09-2024




November 20-10-2024






December 01-12-2024




2025 Payroll Schedule

For a paycheck day every two weeks, this is the payroll schedule for the United States for 2025. It details the start and end dates when employees are paid for 26 biweekly pay periods. A complete 2025 payroll calendar sheds light on all the nuances of payroll in the year 2025.

Month Start dates for wages paid every two weeks End dates for 26 pay periods
January 29-12-2024




February 26-01-2025




March 23-02-2025




April 23-03-2025




May 20-04-2025






June 01-06-2025




July 29-06-2025




August 27-07-2025




September 24-08-2025




October 21-09-2025




November 19-10-2025






December 30-11-2025




Types Of Pay Periods

There are four types of pay periods that companies use in payroll management. The number of pay periods in 2023, 2024, or 2025 and beyond can be divided into a monthly schedule, a semi-monthly pay schedule, and weekly or biweekly pay schedules. We highlight and detail the paychecks per year for these periods.


In this type, you get paid every week, which results in 52 pay periods in a payroll year. This system is usually employed for small-sized businesses that are menial or hard labor-oriented. A weekly payroll in a leap year can extend to a pay frequency of 53.


Compared to the weekly pay period, employees receive 26 to 27 biweekly pay periods if there are more than 52 weeks in a year. It’s a popular payroll service in the US, where workers receive 26 paychecks in a standard year, as wagers are given every two weeks.


In this monthly pay period, you can choose to pay your employees on the 1st of the month for work done for the previous month. On the other hand, it could be paid on the last day of the month or a couple of days before that month ends. This is the most commonly used system by companies, as it cuts down on administrative costs as payroll is processed only once a month.


The semi-monthly pay period gives you 24 pay periods in a calendar year. It involves getting paid when the month halves, such as the 15th of the month, implying you get paid twice a month. This semi-monthly payroll is advocated by employees as it cuts down on the long wait of paying monthly. Also, businesses can avoid extra paychecks that come with paying weekly or after two weeks.

Years With Extra Pay Periods

In a regular year, the number of pay weeks is 52, but this can extend for years with an extra number of weeks. For instance, 2021 had 53 Fridays, which led to 27 biweekly payments. The number of weeks in a year can vary again like this, and it’s expected to happen in 2027. It’ll be a year with extra payment periods, and companies are encouraged to use payroll software to make their business pay systems easy and convenient.

How To Determine The Best Payroll Schedule For You

Of the four types of payroll schedules listed, employers must consider a few factors to pick which one is best for them. These factors are highlighted in the list below.

  • Check the standards of your industry: Consider what periods are used by other companies offering the same services.
  • Know what your workers prefer: Confirm the payroll schedule best for your employees.
  • Company size: As established, smaller companies use weekly rates, while more prominent companies use semi-monthly to monthly.
  • Check the capacity of your administration department: By the time you’re on the third payroll run for the month, if you’re running a weekly schedule, you should know if you have the costs and manpower to maintain the system. Change your company’s pay period according to your administrative size and capacity.
  • Know your cash flow: Ensure the system you use doesn’t lead to a cash shortage.
  • Adhere to state employment laws: Ensure your company abides by the rules and regulations of the state’s payment frequency.
  • Payment method: For instance, if you’d be paying by check, weekly schedules can be daunting.

Comparison Of How Many Pay Periods In A Year Across Industries

Here’s a comparison of different pay periods across industries in the United States.

Industry Payment Period
Manufacturing Biweekly or weekly
Construction Biweekly or weekly
Technology Monthly or bimonthly
Retail Biweekly
Education Semi-monthly
Healthcare Weekly
Finance Monthly or bimonthly
Government Monthly
Hospitality Monthly or bimonthly
Non-profit Monthly

In Conclusion

By establishing payment periods, employers can plan their payroll more accurately and ensure their employee’s labor rights are observed. On the other hand, employees can also ascertain just how much of their paycheck are going to be put into taxes and benefits. It is essential for all workers to understand how payment periods work so they can manage their finances accordingly.

We hope this article has been useful for you in grasping the concept of pay periods and to help better equip you in your own career path. To make sure you stay up-to-date with all legal labor regulations related to payment periods, we recommend consulting or following your country’s labor or Employment Department guidance regularly.

In addition to understanding payment periods, it is important for employees to be aware of payday alternative loan options. These loans provide employees with a low-cost alternative to predatory lenders and payday loans, which can trap borrowers in a cycle of debt. When considering loan options, it is also important to consider the annual percentage rate (APR) of the loan. What is a good apr for a loan – it’s generally considered to be below 36%. This can help ensure that borrowers do not end up paying excessive fees and interest rates over time.

Overall, by understanding payment periods and exploring alternatives to expensive loans, employees can better manage their finances and protect their labor rights. As the job market continues to evolve, staying informed and up-to-date on these topics will be crucial for success in the modern workforce.

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Frequently Asked Questions

The best pay period system for your business depends on a number of factors. These include considerations like how many workers are in your company, what other companies in the same industry offer, and the laws of the state, among others.

For a standard year, biweekly payments will get you 26 periods. However, for years with 53 Fridays, like in 2021 and 2027, you get 27 periods.

It’s 20 or 21, depending on the number of weeks for that year.

2021 and 2027 are years with 27 pay intervals for a biweekly schedule.

You get 52 payment periods in a regular year. However, this can extend to 53 for a year with 53 Fridays.

Depending on pay period that year for the industry you’re in, you can change the schedule of the company to follow the industry’s trend. Also, you should consider factors that keep your company liquid if you want to change.


As the employer, you can select a day you need to reward your employees that works best for the company. However, you must adhere to this day for the rest of the year to maintain an informed and consistent payroll system.

As an employer, you might need to reward your workers extra if there’s an extra week in the year. This mainly affects companies with a biweekly or weekly schedule.

Yes, you can change your schedule as an employer if it complies with the Fair Labor Standards Act laws. These include the change being made for legitimate purposes, not violating minimum wage rules, not delaying payments or avoiding overtime, and being permanent.

A payment period is the number of days it takes for a company to give you another paycheck from the day the previous remuneration was given. The payment date is the exact day the wages are given out.

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