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Job Relocation Is On the Move

Americans are on the move in 2009. Note the growth on this chart. Data provided by Challenger, Grey & Christmas, 2009

Americans are on the move in 2009. Note the growth on this chart. Data provided by Challenger, Grey & Christmas, 2009

Thinking of packing up your family and moving to a new city? You’re not alone.

People have been switching states in growing numbers over the past four months, according to a recent survey from outplacement firm and job-trend tracker Challenger, Grey & Christmas.

From a NYTimes.com article about the survey:

According to new data from Challenger, Gray & Christmas, … a little more than 18 percent of job seekers who found work in the second quarter moved in order to take these new positions. That compares with 14.3 percent in the first quarter and 11.4 percent in the year-ago period. The data are based on a survey of 3,000 people.

Until now, people had been reluctant to move because they were afraid of losing money on their homes and concerned about how long their new jobs might last, Challenger says.

But now a heightened urgency to find work is taking hold, and that could have an upside for some regions.

“If the still-nascent upward trend continues, it could help reignite home sales in some areas of the country, particularly those with more job opportunities,” Challenger notes.

Where are people moving to this year? According to a study of moving requests for 2008 by Relocation.com, these cities are in demand:

Las Vegas; Charlotte, N.C.; Phoenix, Portland, Ore.; Seattle, Orlando, Fla.; Washington, D.C., Atlanta, and Tampa Bay, Fla.

Granted, this study was for 2008; since then, some of these areas have been hit with job losses and depressed home sales (like Phoenix and Las Vegas). The analysis depicts this more granular regional data:

The biggest beneficiary of these population displacements is North Carolina, which saw nearly 80% more requests to move to North Carolina than to leave (for every 100 people requesting moving quotes to leave the state, 180 indicated they wanted to move to it). South Carolina also saw a jump with nearly 70% more requests to move to the state than to leave, while Texas saw 66% more, and Georgia saw 36% more.

In general, the Northeast, the Great Lakes and the Midwest showed a greater propensity for moving-out requests to exceed moving-in requests, while the South, the Mountain West and the Pacific Northwest showed gains. The notable exception in the Pacific region is California, a state hard hit by the housing market. It saw more requests to move out of state than to move to the state.

Looking for more job relocation, resume and job advice? Check out these articles:

A Whole New City, A Whole New Industry

Landing a Job – Without Relocating or Switching Sectors

Switching Industries: Exec Tells All

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