Relocation Budgets Slashed

April 23, 2002 ( - Recruiters offered fewer relocation packages over the first three months of 2002, continuing a decline that began last year, the latest Job Market Index reading reveals.

A mere 14% of job hunters relocated for new jobs in the first quarter of the year, as the downturn in the business cycle put pressure on companies to cut costs, including those associated with recruiting and relocation, according to data from Challenger, Gray & Christmas.

Indeed, the latest reading of the outplacement firm’s Job Market Index, a quarterly survey of 3,000 discharged managers and executives, fell to its lowest level since the firm started tracking the relocation trend in 1986.

According to Challenger, the latest index reading is 36% lower than the average relocation rate of 22% recorded over the last five years. In 2001, relocation fell to an annual average of 17%.

Challenger attributes the drop to decreased hiring and a larger job pool, in addition to risk-adverse job hunters who, harboring concerns over the shaky economy and the war on terrorism, are reluctant to move away from their social safety net.

Further, employers cut back on sending recruiters to campus job fairs as well as the costs of flying candidates in for interviews and paying relocation expenses, according to the outplacement firm.