19+ Job Relocation Statistics: Why People Move for Work [2024]

December 18, 2023 0 Comments

Why are more people packing up and moving for work these days?

One big reason is the option to work remotely.

This means you can do your job from almost anywhere, giving you the freedom to choose where to live.

Plus, some companies offer higher salaries and flexible work arrangements, making the move even more tempting.

Surprisingly, 40% regret the move due to adjustment issues.

While, about 1 in 10 Americans relocate between states annually for jobs or lifestyle changes.

Explore more trends and stats for insights into employee relocation patterns.

Top Job Relocation Statistics: Editor’s Pick

  1. Over 23,000 Americans are considering relocating due to remote work policies. [1]
  2. In Q1 2023, 1.6% of individuals relocated for jobs. [2]
  3. Per ARC Relocation, corporate relocation costs sum up to $16.2 million yearly. [3]
  4. Workers aged 18 to 24 are likely to relocate for work. [4]
  5. 37% choose to relocate to pursue career advancement and higher pay. [5]
  6. 47% of Australians choose to relocate for a better lifestyle. [7]
  7. Moneypenny research: Men are 18% more inclined to relocate for work compared to women. [6]
covid affected workers willingness or ability to move abroad

General Statistics on Job Relocation

Guess what?

Upwork surveys suggest that a whopping 20 million Americans are thinking about moving to a different state for work reasons.

What’s driving this big move?

Well, you probably know the answer.

Money. Money. Money.

Plus, better neighborhoods and having more flexible job options.

Over half of young workers—51% to be exact—have already made the leap for a job opportunity.

This data tells us something: People are seriously prioritizing their careers, and it’s causing a major uptick in folks moving within the country.

More of these details below.

Around 20 million Americans are considering moving [1]

An Upwork survey of over 23,000 Americans found that 9.3% – around 20 million people – are considering relocating due to remote work policies.

The data also revealed shifts in expected relocation distances:

  • 28% plan to move 4+ hours away
  • 13% intend to relocate 2-4 hours from current location

Only 1.6% relocated for jobs in Q1 2023, a historic low

This change in behavior stems from the surge in remote and hybrid job opportunities post-pandemic, allowing workers to switch jobs without having to change their location. [2]

the relocation industry generates an annual worth of at least $25 billion

Relocation costs companies $16.2 million yearly, fueling a $25 billion industry

Furthermore, in 2019, a staggering 31 million Americans—almost 10% of the population—changed residences, according to MoveBuddha.

Among those movers, 10.3% relocated due to a new job or transfer, as highlighted by Moving.com [3].

51% of young individuals are likely to relocate for work

According to the ADP Research Institute, 51% of workers aged 18–24 and 43% between 25–34 are either planning or contemplating relocation for their jobs.

Conversely, older workers with established careers and families are less inclined to seek significant changes in their lives [4].

Who’s Likely to Relocate?

We analyzed key demographics like age, income, gender and more to identify top groups opting to relocate for work.

From each category, we spotlighted the leading segments driving this trend.

Here’s what we uncovered:

Younger individuals have the highest mobility levels

Per Allied survey, 37% of people aged 25-34 changed residences in the last year – significantly higher than the 24% mobility rate for individuals aged 35-44. [5]

UK men marginally edge out women on long-distance moves

According to Moneypenny, the data shows that men were more inclined to relocate for a job compared to women.

Among those willing to relocate, 51% were women, while 69% were men. [6]

UK worker relocation openness

High earners relocating to cheaper states

Someone earning $650,000 in New York City could save over $250,000 annually by moving to Austin, considering factors like taxes and the difference in the cost of living, representing a savings of 40% or more of their income. [9]

How Much Employee Relocation Costs?

Thinking of moving for work?

Costs for homeowners relocating can hit $97,000, while renters usually spend less, around $24,000.

Different relocation packages exist, like cash options or fully-covered moves, designed for varying needs.

Relocation can cost up to $97,000 or more [4]

For an existing employee who owns a home, relocating costs can reach up to $97,000 or more.

However, if the same employee is a rental tenant, the costs typically amount to less than $24,000. Here are approximate examples of relocation costs:

  • Current employee who owns a home: $97,166
  • Current employee who rents: $24,216
  • New hire who owns a home: $72,627
  • New hire who rents: $19,309

Common relocation packages given by companies [3]

Relocation packages offer financial support to employees relocating for work. 

There are four primary packages commonly utilized, either managed internally or by a third-party specialist:

  1. Lump Sum Packages. Lump sum cash relocation packages from the 1980s incentivize saving on moving costs, but can enable bad moves, so are declining.
  2. Tiered Packages. Tiered relocation packages are popular and cost-effective, and customized by employee seniority and situation, commonly arranged in-house or using relocation teams.
  3. Managed Budget Package. Managed budget packages set a spending cap for employee relocations, useful for third-party providers and clear accounting.
  4. A Fully-Covered Relocation Package. Fully covered relocations, common for senior staff, have unpredictable costs best managed by providers to limit excess spending risk.

How long does the relocation process take?

A survey by Allied revealed that company timelines for relocation span from less than a month to over 3 months. [5]

Here is what the data shows regarding typical relocation windows provided:

typical timeframe companies provide for relocation

Challenges of Work Relocation

According to LinkedIn, there are 6 key challenges to weigh when relocating for work:

  1. Culture shock
  2. Logistics and costs
  3. Work-life balance
  4. Career development
  5. Family/friend separation
  6. Legal and regulatory differences

Those who overlook these elements risk unsuccessful transitions, per the data.

Per Arc Relocation, 40% of job relocations end poorly due to adjustment issues

Up to 40% of expatriate and domestic reassignments in general fail due to factors like culture shock and issues acclimatizing.

Ironically for Americans, struggle is highest when relocating to the culturally-similar United Kingdom. [4]

Workers’ Insights

Analyzing surveys from The Allied, Seven Seas Worldwide and Upwork (1,000 / 5,000 / 20,000 respondents respectively), key motivations emerged behind job-driven relocation decisions:

top reasons for job relocation per Allied survey

36.96% pursue career advancement/higher pay. [5]

17.88% want to live closer to friends/family.

15.48% are transferring offices.

13.79% had employers move locations.

7.59% have companies acquired. [5]

Additionally, 46% identified COVID-19 as impacting willingness/ability to relocate abroad. [7]

And with remote work expanding, 6.9-11.5% of households now plan relocations per Upwork’s survey. [8]

Top relocation countries per Seven Seas Worldwide survey:

  • The United Kingdom, United States, Australia, Japan, and Spain ranked highest. [7]
  • Australians relocated most, citing a “better lifestyle” as the main reason (47%).
  • 41.4% in Hong Kong moved to return home, lured by job opportunities (32.5%).
  • South Africans relocated for better economy and job prospects (54.1%).
  • The U.K. topped as a relocation destination, particularly for Australians, Hong Kongers, and South Africans. [7]

FAQs about Job Relocation

How many Americans relocate for work each year?

In 2021, approximately 20 million Americans moved between states. Of those, 10.3% relocated due to a new job or transfer opportunity, fueling a $25 billion domestic relocation industry.

Who’s likely to relocate for jobs?

Younger workers show the highest mobility, with 37% of 25-34 year olds moving over the past year compared to just 24% of 35-44 year olds.

How much does relocation cost employers?

For homeowners relocating within a company, costs can surpass $97,000. Renters incur lower costs around $24,000. Many firms offer tiered relocation packages to ease transitions.

What are the main challenges with work transitions?

Up to 40% of job relocations fail due to issues like culture shock, logistics, isolation from family/friends, stifled career growth, and regulatory barriers. Planning mitigates pitfalls.

Why do employees choose to relocate?

Top reasons are:

  • career advancement and higher salaries 
  • living closer to family and friends
  • corporate transfers
  • employer moves and acquisitions

Summary

The rise of remote work has led many Americans to rethink where they live and work.

An estimated 20 million people are considering relocating to a different state for job reasons.

While the trend opens up new possibilities, the transition also poses challenges.

Up to 40% of job relocations end poorly due to issues like culture shock and homesickness.

Still, for many, the lure of career growth, higher pay, and better lifestyle motivates them to take the leap.

Though relocating is complex, proper planning helps ensure a smooth adjustment to a new work life.

For further eye-opening statistics, facts and trends surrounding relocations, explore our website.

Sources

  1. Forbes. Upwork Study Says 19 Million Americans Plan On Relocating Due To Remote Work—Is This Likely Now That Omicron Subsided?
  2. Fortune. So few people are willing to relocate for a new job
  3. ARC Relocation. Here’s the Average Job Relocation Packages in 2023
  4. HR Asia. The Great Relocation: Over Five in 10 Singaporeans Gen Z Workers Plan to Relocate for Work
  5. Allied. Job relocation survey
  6. Moneypenny. The UK’s Relocation Habits and Preferences
  7. WERC. Job Opportunities Continuing to Drive Desire for Workforce Mobility Worldwide
  8. WERC. With Rise in Remote Work, Millions of US Workers Planning to Relocate
  9. SmartAsset. Wall Street Texas: A NYC-Austin Move Can Save High Earners 40% or More

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