Job Relocation On The Decline For U.S. Workers

In today's NY Times, reporter Patricia Cohen looks at recently published data from several studies indicating that American workers have sharply reduced their mobility and desire to change jobs and transfer over the last 10-15 years. 

The article states that " In recent years, economists have become increasingly worried that a slide in job turnover and relocation rates is undermining the economy's dynamism, damping productivity and wages, while making it more difficult for sidelined workers to find their way back into the job market" 

A soon to be released study by The Brookings Institution and authored by University of Notre Dame economist Abigail Wozniak and other economists, looks into magnitude of this problem and the root causes of this trend, which could soon be a major issue for employers nationwide who rely on moving key executives and promising new talent to different locations, both at home and abroad, to build their managerial experience and prepare them for more senior roles at the company. Among the areas of inquiry is why people are not moving out of what are typically entry level and temporary jobs, preferring to stay where they are, as well as the issue of a decline in social capital, or what use to be referred to as trust in others and confidence in moving to a new area or region and being able to adapt. People simply do not have the same number of family, friends and professional contacts that other generations seemed to have. 

Another interesting finding is that the prevalence of social media is possibly curtailing job opportunities as it has made background checks, determining potential character flaws and other issues employers find questionable, easy to determine by checking social media accounts. This coupled with a fear of moving and job stability seem to have sharply curtailed a willingness to relocate and move up the economic ladder. 

The report, once published should be of key interest to employers, multi-national corporations and to premium corporate relocation experts who look to determine the best means of helping people change jobs, cities and provide transition services for those looking to build their careers.