Growing Reluctance to Move: Job Relocations Down
The Wall Street Journal reports Fewer Americans Uproot Themselves for New Jobs.
Fewer Americans are moving around the country to pursue new work opportunities, as a tighter labor market and changing family ties make people less willing to uproot their lives for a job.
About 3.5 million Americans relocated for a new job last year, according to census data, a 10% drop from 3.8 million in 2015. The numbers have fluctuated between 2.8 million and 4.5 million since the government started tracking job-related relocations in 1999—but have been trending lower overall, even as the U.S. population grew by nearly 20% over that stretch.
The share of job seekers relocating for new employment has fallen dramatically since the late 1980s, when more than a third moved to take new opportunities elsewhere, according to surveys from outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc. In the 1990s, job-related moves ebbed and flowed between 20% and 35%, then fell below 20% after 2000. Roughly 10% of job seekers relocated for new opportunities in the first half of this year, Challenger said.
Not on the Move
- Cost of housing or rent in relocated areas
- Local work is available
- Need for kids to stay close to their aging parents
- Kids living at home have no-cost lodging
- Skimpy relocation packages
- Concerns about how long the next gig will last
Add it all up and it simply is not worth the disruption.
Mike "Mish" Shedlock