US workers don’t want to move for new jobs

What to Know About Relocating for a Job

US workers don’t want to move for new jobs
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If you’ve ever moved for a job, you know how many itty, bitty details are involved. Depending on how far you’re going—crossing state lines or just heading a few cities over, going abroad, or to the opposite coast—you’re going to want to be as organized as possible so you keep your sanity, along with your new job.

Moving for work is a different game than simply moving, typically because the timeline involved in taking a job in a new location is a lot shorter than when you decide on a change of scenery and then focus on getting the new position. Whether you have three months to get everything squared away or a mere three weeks, the comprehensive cheat sheet below will hopefully help make it as seamless as possible.

Ask About Relocation Costs

negotiating a job offer, this one can be tricky. A lot of people may be unwilling or disinclined to ask about financial relocation assistance because they don’t want to seem greedy or demanding.

But ask yourself, what’s the absolute worst thing that can happen? You inquire about getting reimbursed for some moving expenses, and the HR person says that’s not something the organization does, so you say “Thank you for letting me know,” and that’s the end of the conversation.

The job is still yours, and nobody got hurt. (Can you even imagine a company that would rescind an offer because someone asked for moving help?)

If it makes you super uncomfortable to broach the topic, then don’t. As one frequent job relocator explained it to me, “It definitely depends on how far you are moving and how scrappy you want to be.

” That is, you can ask friends to help you pack and load a U-Haul or you can pay movers for all of that—in which case you’ll want to try and get at least a couple of thousand dollars from your future employer if it’s flexible on assistance.

Depending on the company’s budget—and whether or not it’s even willing to consider footing relocation costs for a new hire—you may get a padded offer, a specific reimbursement amount, or even a signing bonus.

One person I spoke with who had two relocations under her belt admitted that she’d never sought help.

For one, she says she wanted to make it seem she was planning the move regardless of whether or not that company offered her a job; it was important for her to compete with local candidates.

In retrospect, she says that “there wouldn’t have been any harm in asking for relocation after I had gotten the offer—once they wanted me, why not?” She’s right about that. Never any harm in asking.

So, if you’ve decided to look into it, make that query one of the first things you do—after you accept the offer, unless, of course, getting relocation assistance is the only way you’d consider taking the position. Once you’re armed with that knowledge, you can move onto the next very important step.

Create a Budget

Do this even if you’re not a budget person or have never kept a record of your spending. Moving costs can and will add up quickly. It’ll be far better for you to have a clear sense of what you’re going to end up spending going into it, instead of not thinking about it and later getting an insane credit card bill just as you’re getting settled at your new job in an unfamiliar city.

One reason for doing this is that it’ll help you come up with a realistic number for your company in the event that it’s offering some kind of money up front. But, keeping track of moving expenses should be something you do even if you’re the one responsible for all the associated costs.

The budget you create will enable you to decide what you can afford to buy now and what will have to wait until later.

Some items will be non-negotiable (you can’t get by for very long without a shower curtain or curtains if your bedroom window faces the street and is on the first floor), but other non-essential things you may have to hold off on purchasing until you’ve digested the initial moving fees. The duvet cover and throw pillows in your online shopping cart can wait.

Include everything you can possibly think of when you draw this up: packing boxes, movers, startup cable and internet costs, gas (if you’re driving a vehicle), meals along the way, accommodations if the move involves a cross-country drive. But don’t stop at that! Once you have those figured out, determine what other essentials you’ll need to feel at home.

For example, your grocery bill is going to be high the first month as you set about stocking your fridge and pantry. While you may be able to salvage some of your staples (cooking oils, spices, unopened cereal boxes), assume you’re starting with nothing.

Don’t forget to include all the seemingly small things too: light bulbs, batteries, toilet paper, paper towels, cleaning supplies.

One particularly seasoned job relocator I spoke with advises the following: “Bump everything up for the first month!” If it’s an international move, plan on an extra large bump, up to 50 or 100% more than you’d figure for a domestic move.

Become a List Person

Are you anti-list, or do you pride yourself on your great ability to keep running mental lists of both personal and professional to-dos? Now is the time to put pen to paper or finger to keyboard.

With an exciting, new job looming, this isn’t the appropriate moment to rely on your memory. There are simply far too many odds and ends to consider for that.

You’re going to want to save all your brain power to impress your new boss, not to remember if you changed your address at the post office.

Along with lists, spreadsheets can be a really handy way of keeping track of things; in fact, you could create an entire spreadsheet on who to notify of a change your address. While you can probably take care of most of this online, you will want to be comprehensive and diligent.

We’re talking post office, financial institutions, health insurance, magazines you subscribe to, voter registrar, friends and family. And, because you definitely don’t want to get stuck paying for services you’re no longer using, make a list of all of the providers you no longer need.

That’s gas, electricity, cable, internet and notify them of the date you no longer need service.

While you’re in the list-making zone, note all of the items you’re going to need that first week—from your toothbrush, to your air mattress, to your lucky jeans, to your coffee maker, even a few outfits for the office.

Make sure to pack away these items in a box that you can easily access right away. As much as you might think you’ll be able to unpack quickly, you should be prepared to be very busy that first week (not to mention exhausted).

You don’t want to have to say no to drinks with your new team because you have to go home to find that box with all your work shirts.

Start Building Your Network

When I moved to NYC fresh graduate school, I had several friends who’d been living there for years, and while I was psyched to have a community of people off the bat, I was reluctant to insert myself into their already bustling lives. I wanted to hang out with them on weekends and grab a drink with them on a random Thursday night, but I didn’t intend to make plans with them five days a week.

And so I did everything I could to make some new friends and begin building my own network. My grandmother’s college roommate who’d been living in NYC for nearly 50 years? I looked her up, and she quickly became my movie and theater pal.

My sister’s good friend from high school? I emailed her and asked if she wanted to grab dinner one night. Fast forward eight years, and I was in her wedding party. I joined a running group and met people there who’ve become lifelong buds.

If you sports, consider joining a recreational league. An experienced mover notes that “It's a really good way to make actual friends instead of relying on meeting people ‘out.’” But these people can be more than just people you meet for brunch on Saturdays; consider them a part of your growing network.

Having a strong and thriving professional community is a huge asset, and it’s crucial even when you’re 100% content in your current role. To build a network from the ground up in a new city, get in the habit of saying yes. Make an effort to get out and be social. Moving to a new city can be lonely, even if you love your job.

And speaking of your gig, take advantage of your office’s social gatherings—having pals around the workplace can easily turn a stressful day around, and getting to know your co-workers is a great way to quickly expand your network. So even if you’re more introverted than extroverted, go your way to accept invitations. You’ll be glad you did in the long run.

Locate All the Essentials

There are certain things which you should never show up late for. A job interview is one, but so is your first day of work.

Even if you interviewed in the space in person months ago and are pretty sure you know where you’re going, do yourself a favor and perform a dry run before you’re officially expected to report.

Locate the best driving route, or figure out the easiest and quickest way via public transportation if you’re going to be relying on the bus or subway. In addition, you're also going to want to scope out neighborhood essentials, such as the dry cleaner, laundromat, and grocery store.

You might be tempted to order take-out each evening, but your wallet may disagree with your inclination. At the very least, stock up on staples before your first day at the office.

Coffee, milk, eggs, a box of cereal, lunch items if you typically BYO the midday meal. And don't forget to grab a bottle or two of your favorite wine or a six-pack of your beer of choice.

Sitting down with a drink after a day of trying to keep the office's three Daves straight is something you'll have earned!

Make All the Necessary Appointments as Soon as Possible

Are you getting a new couch? Is your landlord stopping by with a second set of keys? Do you have to physically go to the DMV or be around for the internet guy? There’s probably a lot of moving-related tasks that'll require you to be away from your desk in the early weeks of your relocation.

Do your best to arrange your appointments all at once so you can notify your manager in one fell swoop of your impending absences.

I know when I have a couple of out-of-office requests in a given month, I prefer to send my boss one comprehensive email, and I'm pretty sure she (and her inbox) appreciate that practice as well.

If that’s not feasible or your moving needs demand that you be flexible—your kitchen table is now on backorder and won't be delivered on the Tuesday morning you planned to work from home—consider having an open dialogue with your boss and let her know that you'll do your best to notify him of your whereabouts as far in advance as possible, but sometimes, you may have to be out on shorter notice than you (or she) would . Basically, the more heads up you can give people, the less stressful the ask will feel.

There’s a lot involved in job relocation, yes—and not least of all because you want to nail it at your first week on the job without thinking of whether or not you bought kitty litter. The many moving parts mean you should try to be as organized as humanly possible from the beginning.

If possible, give yourself at least a couple of days (longer if you're moving a great distance or to a really big city from a tiny town) in your new surroundings before the job starts.

But if that’s not an option, know that if you follow the above steps, you’ll be able to hit the ground running.

Chances are, you’re not the first one at your new company to have relocated for work, and generally, people who have been there, done that are more than happy to share words of wisdom and advice. And that right there is your foolproof conversation starter at the water cooler.


The Who, Where, and Why of Moving for a New Job

US workers don’t want to move for new jobs

As cities compete for Amazon’s second headquarters, many flexed their tax incentive packages and real estate options in hopes of luring the tech giant to select their city.

It’s tempting to think the right financial perks is all it takes for a company to successfully expand to a new city.

In fact, success requires a solid base of nearby talent — or the ability to entice skilled workers to relocate for new job opportunities.

The reality is that most job seekers don’t want to move. Most apply to jobs close to home, with government data showing the urge to move is only declining.

So when a company opens a new location, it must expect to draw mostly from the local labor force.

In a time when unemployment is near historic lows amid one of the longest economic expansions in history, finding the right talent is harder than ever. The right recruiting strategies are crucial.

Who are the job seekers more willing to move? In a recent Glassdoor study, I analyzed a large sample of more than 668,000 online job applications during a typical week to identify why certain job seekers are more willing to relocate and what motivates them to move. As a job and recruiting site, Glassdoor has a unique vantage into these near real-time migration trends happening among job seekers today, with nearly 40 million reviews and insights on workplace factors at more than 770,000 companies around the world.

Among the findings, three key factors emerged that can help companies rethink how they look at talent nearby and more successfully attract skilled workers from farther away.

Local Talent Matters

For starters, where a company chooses to locate will largely determine who applies for its open jobs. In practice, most job candidates will be found in the company’s own backyard. My research found 71.5% of job applications started on Glassdoor were to job openings within a candidate’s own metro area.

That simple lesson — that most applicants will come from the local labor market — is critical for companies who are considering relocating, opening a new office or expecting to hire a significant number of skilled workers who aren’t already in the area.

Talent in today’s tech-driven economy is the most important asset for most companies; employers will have a much easier time filling open roles if they’re willing to move to where the qualified candidates are.

The data show companies should not assume large numbers of workers will be willing to pack their bags to follow an employer to the city that offers the best tax incentives.

On the other hand, my study did find that some job seekers are much more willing to move than others — and among the most mobile are highly paid tech and engineering candidates. For that reason, tech-dominated metros San Francisco, New York, and San Jose, CA, were top destinations for today’s job movers in our study.

However, lower-paid workers in manual labor and service industries are much less ly to apply to jobs elsewhere. Our study shows roles bartender, truck driver, and retail worker rarely attract candidates from outside metros.

For employers hiring on-the-ground roles these, it is a major challenge to hire from outside the local labor market.

Culture Matters More Than Pay

What does attract candidates to move for jobs? As the saying goes, money talks — and that also applies to enticing candidates to pick up and move for jobs. My study found an extra $10,000 higher base salary predicts candidates are about a half percentage point more ly to be applying to a job outside their home metro.

But what may surprise many employers is that higher pay actually matters much less than having a desirable workplace culture. We found having a one-star-higher overall company rating on Glassdoor (on a 1-5 scale) had six times as large an impact on the odds of attracting job applicants from outside metros as did paying $10,000 more in salary.

What does “good company culture” mean? Typically, it doesn’t mean free lunch or ping pong tables.

Instead, our research over the years has found it means having learning and career growth opportunities for employees, establishing clear company values and a mission that connects with a larger social good, and having high-quality senior leadership.

Those are the key statistical drivers of overall company ratings on Glassdoor — and those are the factors that can in turn help companies attract talent from outside metros.

In practice, companies can attempt to offer more pay and compensation to offset mediocre workplace culture. But this research suggests it may mean offering significantly higher salaries.

In this way, making consistent steps toward fostering a positive workplace environment that takes employee well-being seriously can pay off financially for employers — and improve efforts to recruit candidates from around the country.

Movers Are Less Diverse

A final lesson from the study is that relying heavily on job seekers willing to relocate can impact the diversity of applicant pools in unexpected ways. The study found men are by far more willing to move for jobs. Even after I controlled for job titles, education, and age, men were about 3.3 percentage points more ly to be applying to a job in another metro compared to women.

I also found that older, more experienced workers are significantly less ly to apply to jobs outside their home metro — ly the result of higher homeownership rates and deeper family roots among more experienced candidates, making them less willing to move for jobs.

This means that companies who choose a location strategy the assumption that they will mostly recruit from outside the metro area will ly face a candidate pool for open jobs that is deficient in important ways: with fewer female applicants and fewer older workers further along in their careers.

If employers want a diverse candidate pool, they will ly need to make a conscious outreach effort when it comes to applicants from outside metros.

This is especially true for employers in industries with higher rates of mobile workers, including today’s fast-growing tech and engineering fields with disproportionately high rates of young, male job candidates.

Today’s workforce and skill landscape are changing rapidly, with jobs increasingly adapting to more “tech”-style roles that untether workers from their desks, allowing them to be more mobile than ever.

However, the forces of geography still play an important role in today’s economy, and the fact remains in our data that most job seekers today still want to stay where they are.

Companies who can best leverage nearby talent, or who know how to deploy the tools of premium pay or superior workplace culture to attract candidates from afar, are more ly to come out ahead.


Is it worth applying for a job right now?

US workers don’t want to move for new jobs

Last week, another 5.2 million Americans filed for unemployment — about 22 million Americans have filed for unemployment in the last four weeks. Taking into account contractors, new graduates and others who might not be eligible for unemployment, the numbers could be even worse.

To help make sense of a never-before-seen labor market, we’ve tried to answer all the hiring and firing questions you might have but are too afraid to ask.

Is anyone hiring? Is it even worth applying for a job right now?

With millions of people applying for unemployment and millions more being ordered to work from home, it might feel there are no jobs out there. A recent Gallup poll conducted from March 30 to April 2 found that 40% of workers said their employer has frozen hiring and 33% said their employers cut hours. Considering all this, should you be looking for jobs right now? 

“Yes, there are opportunities out there for those on the job hunt and it is still worthwhile to stick to your search,” said Alison Sullivan, Glassdoor career expert. “You may have to adjust aspects of your job search as things change during the coronavirus outbreak. For instance, the types of opportunities and abundance of them will look different, depending on the industry you’re in.”

Job seekers could use this time to do research and identify industries and companies that are currently hiring, customize their application materials and proof read everything carefully. “Also, don’t forget to tap into or build your professional network. Even if you haven’t found the right job, signaling you’re looking can help you find opportunities in the future,” she said. 

According to LinkedIn, some of the most in-demand jobs right include store associate, health care specialist, warehouse manager and delivery diver.

However, many of these jobs require in-person attendance and for workers to interact with others throughout the day.

Considering the risks of contagion, people who can afford to stay at home might decide to put off their job search for the time being. 

If however you can’t put off your search, LinkedIn reports that companies with most open jobs in the U.S. include Army National Guard, Amazon, Lowe’s HCA Healthcare and Whole Foods. Mark Hamrick, senior economic analyst at, suggests looking at these large companies as well as others Walmart and CVS, who have said they would hire thousands more workers. 

“This is in response to the rush of pantry building and purchases of cleaning and sanitizing products, among others, by consumers as they reacted to the unfolding coronavirus crisis,” he explained. “There’s been some scaling up of health care/medical staffing as well for obvious reasons.”

I am not laid off or furloughed but I don’t my job. Should I use this time at home to look for other jobs? 

“If you feel ready for a new job, it never hurts to be on the lookout,” advised Sullivan. But she also notes that “because today’s hiring landscape is shifting, you shouldn’t leave a current role until you’ve secured another job.”

In addition to not quitting your job before finding a new one, make sure your dissatisfaction isn’t affecting your current output as that could put you at risk of losing your job at a time of high unemployment, Hamrick said. 

Many employees at my job were furloughed. Will everyone be hired back? 

A furlough is an unpaid leave. With shelter-in-place orders in effect in many states, companies have furloughed their workers rather than laying them off.

Un laid off workers, furloughed workers remain on the company’s payroll and are expected to return to work as soon as the company has enough work for them again. Or, in this case, as soon as offices are able to open again.

We don’t know yet whether all furloughed employees will be brought back.

“Many employees who have been furloughed will have opportunities to return to work,” said Hamrick. “It remains to be seen how long-lasting damage to the economy will persist helping to dictate future levels of unemployment and, conversely, employment.”

Wouldn’t this be the perfect scenario for companies to get rid of bad workers? 

Bad performers are ly to be the first to be let go — but that’s true at any time, not just during a pandemic.  

“If someone is a poor performer and demonstrably so, they were probably at risk of losing their job before the crisis emerged,” said Hamrick. “Certainly, if a firm has experienced a decline in revenues and needs to shrink its workforce, poor performers are at increased risk of being let go.” 

My company ignored social distancing recommendations. What should I do? 

If you are worried about getting sick at work, you are not the only one. According to Indeed, the number of people concerned about contracting COVID-19 at work rose from 46% to 53%. Sullivan recommended discussing the situation with your manager.

“Doing what you can to prioritize your personal health and safety is the best thing to do,” she said. “Good options to consider include speaking with your managers about working from home or ensuring you have protective masks and coverings that adhere to current health policy guidelines.”

A majority of states have ordered non-essential workers to stay home. A poll of workers conducted by Gallup from March 30 to April 2, found that 57% of workers have been offered flex time or remote work options.

This could have a lasting effect on the way we work long after the quarantine is over. Three in five U.S. workers who have shifted to working remotely during the pandemic would to keep working from home after it is over.

Just 41% would to return to their office and work as they did before the virus.

Is it appropriate to ask how a company handled COVID-19 in a job interview? 

You might’ve seen a version of this tweet going around: a candidate at a job interview asking the interviewer about the precautions their company took to protect their workers and how it handled the COVID-19 pandemic.

The American workforce is unly to forget what happened to them during this crisis — whether it be being laid off, furloughed, having their hours cut or asked to keep working and potentially expose themselves to COVID-19.

As such, it’s not unreasonable that they might want to know how their employers plan to handle a similar situation in the future. 

For my next job interview, I'm gonna ask my “future” employer on “what are the things you've done for your employees during the COVID-19 community quarantine”.

— elies (@cetELIESparibus) March 16, 2020

 “For years, we’ve seen that many employees and job seekers want to work for companies that prioritize workplace culture and that have great leaders,” said Sullivan. “Actions in a time of crisis can speak volumes. Companies should be prepared for this question or expect that candidates have done their research on how a company responded to the COVID-19 outbreak.”

Candidates who plan to discuss this in their interviews should think about the best way to approach this, warned Hamrick. 

“I’d be careful about putting an interviewer on the defensive about the handling of the coronavirus outbreak,” he explained. “At the same time, it would be reasonable to explore how things have changed, including how managers and workers have adapted as well as considerations for the future with respect to securing worker safety.”

How do you network while social distancing? 

“Thanks to technology, there are still avenues to network and expand your professional network while hunkered down at home,” said Sullivan.

“Many professional organizations offer virtual events or happy hours, which can help you connect with peers and fine-tune your video communication skills.

Plus, there are plenty of ways to meet and make new career connections via professional networking platforms.

A new professional acquaintance may be more open to email correspondences or a virtual coffee or drink during a time when many are craving social interaction and have a more open calendar.”

How are those COVID relief payments affecting consumers?

Payments started going out within days of President Joe Biden signing the American Rescue Plan, and that’s been a big shot in the arm for consumers, said John Leer at Morning Consult, which polls Americans every day. “Consumer confidence is really on a tear.

They are growing more confident at a faster rate than they have following the prior two stimulus packages.” Leer said this time around the checks are bigger and they’re getting out faster. Now, rising confidence is ly to spark more consumer spending.

But Lisa Rowan at Forbes Advisor said it’s not clear how much or how fast.

Will more people be working from home once the worst of the pandemic recedes?

It’s still unclear whether remote work will remain widespread, but there is at least more data analyzing the costs and benefits of working from home.

People might be saving on things commuting and buying clothes, but they’re also finding that in order to make long-term remote work feasible, they’ll have to upgrade their living spaces. And that cost could outweigh savings.

Chris Stanton, a Harvard business professor, said even a minor increase in working from home after the pandemic could add up to billions of dollars a year for workers.

I’m hearing a lot about interest rates. Is it getting more expensive to borrow money?

Expectations of higher inflation as the economy rebounds have investors demanding higher yields to compensate. In turn, the recent surge in bond yields is pushing up the interest rates consumers pay on mortgages and other loans.

Economist Scott Hoyt with Moody’s Analytics said rising rates could dampen demand for housing a little and refinancing a little more. Other kinds of consumer spending are less ly to be affected.

Interest on auto loans and credit cards are pegged to shorter-term rates, which haven’t been rising as much.


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