Have you ever moved to a new city because of a job -- whether it was a new position or location with your existing company or an entirely new job? Most of us have not, as it turns out. We surveyed 3,500 respondents about job relocation to find out who has relocated, why they relocated, demographics of those who have moved because of a job, and other interesting stats and facts about the experience with their moving company.
Almost 83 percent of our respondents had never relocated for a job, but 17.1 percent -- or 501 respondents -- had done so at some point. The largest percentage (50.3%) had relocated for career advancement or financial reasons, as is to be expected. But some of the other motives people have for moving to take a new job or position include being closer to family or for other relationship reasons (8.1%); because the company they work for moved (9%); because they transferred to a new division of their company (11.6%); due to acquisition (4%) or for other reasons (16.7%).
But all that just tells us some of the main reasons why people might choose to relocate for work. We also asked about the demographics of those who relocated so we could find out...
First, let’s break it down by gender: Many more men than women had relocated for a job -- 60.5% versus 31.2% -- and 8.3% preferred not to give their gender. We also found that most of those who had moved for work were between the ages of 25 and 44 when they relocated (32.7% between the ages of 25-34, and 26.3% of those ages 35-44).
Only 15.5% of those between the ages of 18 and 25 had relocated for work, possibly because at that point they are still in college or grad school and/or lack the experience to qualify them for the better job opportunities. And at the other end of the age spectrum, 13.5% of those aged 45-54 and 7.9% of those 55 and older had relocated, likely because at those ages people tend to be more established in a particular job or career. 4.2% preferred not to give their age.
Moving is hard work, and it can be very expensive -- especially long distance moves to a new city, or even to a different country altogether. So we were curious to find out: How many of our respondents had had assistance from their employer in relocating?
62.6% of our respondents who had relocated worked for companies that offer relocation packages, while 37.4% worked for employers that don’t offer such assistance. And when it comes to offering this type of benefit, the size of the company makes a difference: 70.6% of the employers with relocation compensation have 500-999 employees, 72.4% had 1,000-4,999 employees, and 77.1% were those with 5,000 or more employees. Companies with 1-49 employees came in at 47.6%, and those with 50-99 employees made the poorest showing in our survey at 44.6%.
Of course, it makes sense that smaller businesses that are localized to a particular area would be less likely to offer relocation compensation, because there’s less likely to be such a need. Perhaps what is most surprising about these results is that the businesses with 1-49 employees came in higher than those that were the next size up!
Of those companies that did offer assistance, the type of compensation or assistance varied widely -- from help with moving expenses (54.3%) to temporary living expenses (31.2%), sponsored trips for house-hunting (20.2%), a lump sum of cash to use as needed (20.9%) or miscellaneous expense allowance (22.4%). 29.8% reported that the assistance offered was none of the above.
Even when you have a job waiting for you in your new hometown, relocating is never a piece of cake. There are plenty of challenges to face, from finding a house to relocating within a tight timeframe, and many more.
Our respondents reported that their top specific job relocation challenges were finding a home (31%), acclimating to a new community (29.2%), finding service providers such as utilities and doctors (12.6%), and making friends (11.5%). And the time allotted for these employees to relocate could also add to the stress: Only 10.2% had three months or more to move, while the largest percentage (47.3%) had to accomplish their relocation in a month’s time!
Despite these challenges, our respondents overwhelmingly viewed moving for a new position as a positive event. The overall sentiment toward job relocation was 64.1% positive, 7.5% negative, and 28.4% neutral.
Moving may not be easy, and you may or may not have relocation compensation assistance available from your employer. It’s a major life event and something we’re more likely to do during our prime working years. But the fact that the majority of our respondents viewed relocating in a positive light shows that in many cases, relocating is well worth the stress involved.