Challenger: More People Turn Thumbs Down To Relocating

February 11, 2003 ( - Fewer workers and job seekers are agreeing to a geographic relocation, according to a survey.

According to data from outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, there has been a 39% drop in relocations by job seekers over the last 24 months. Some 14% of these job seekers relocated for new jobs in 2002, the lowest annual level in 17 years of tracking.  In 2000, by contrast, 23% of job seekers moved to a different city.

Also, fewer already employed workers are agreeing to relocate, Challenger said. Challenger said human resources executives in the survey reported the relocation reluctance.

Some companies are making matters worse by placing more of the cost burden on the executive or job seeker who is relocating, Challenger said.  Additionally, few employers are willing to help relocating workers deal with their family issues.

Some 9% of companies did not reimburse transferees or new employees for moving expenses in 2001, up from 3% in 2000.  Only 23% of companies help the trailing spouse find a new job and only 10% help new employees or transferees with eldercare.

The Challenger data is based on a quarterly survey of 3,000 discharged managers and executives.