Survey: Half of workers didn't notice end of payroll tax cut

Economists had worried that allowing the payroll tax cut – which dropped the rate workers paid from 6.2 percent to 4.2 percent - would be a drag on economic growth this year. That increase adds up to $1,000 a year for a worker making $50,000 annually.

Policymakers declined to extend the cut for another year, after a protracted battle to extend the tax relief in late 2011 and early 2012.

According to Bankrate, six in 10 households making under $30,000 a year noticed the change in the payroll tax. Roughly 40 percent of more middle-income families – those making between $50,000 and $75,000 a year – were aware the tax cut had expired.