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The Wall Street Journal reports Fewer Americans Uproot Themselves for New Jobs.

Fewer Americans are moving around the country to pursue new work opportunities, as a tighter labor market and changing family ties make people less willing to uproot their lives for a job.

About 3.5 million Americans relocated for a new job last year, according to census data, a 10% drop from 3.8 million in 2015. The numbers have fluctuated between 2.8 million and 4.5 million since the government started tracking job-related relocations in 1999—but have been trending lower overall, even as the U.S. population grew by nearly 20% over that stretch.

The share of job seekers relocating for new employment has fallen dramatically since the late 1980s, when more than a third moved to take new opportunities elsewhere, according to surveys from outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc. In the 1990s, job-related moves ebbed and flowed between 20% and 35%, then fell below 20% after 2000. Roughly 10% of job seekers relocated for new opportunities in the first half of this year, Challenger said.

Not on the Move

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  • Cost of housing or rent in relocated areas
  • Local work is available
  • Need for kids to stay close to their aging parents
  • Kids living at home have no-cost lodging
  • Skimpy relocation packages
  • Concerns about how long the next gig will last

Add it all up and it simply is not worth the disruption.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock