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Impact of Housing/Mortgage Concerns Continues to Decrease, Spouse/Partner Employment Increases

Although the landscape of relocation remains disturbed by the Great Recession and housing crisis, housing/mortgage concerns continues to diminish as a reason for declining relocation. For the second straight year, family issues/ties remains at the top spot among firms of all sizes. However, spouse/partner employment has progressively increased over the past three years and is now at its highest level since the turn of the century.

During the latest recession, many families experienced a shift in breadwinning responsibilities. The stay-at-home parent returned to work while the previously working spouse/partner faced unemployment, perhaps for an extended period. It makes sense that couples are now less willing to gamble their family's security on one income. Since 2011, spouse/partner employment as the reason for declining relocation has increased by nearly twenty percent.

More than half of firms saw employees decline relocation last year, which is historically normative. However, employee reluctance spiked to near 2008 (28%) and 2009 (29%) recessionary levels (28% vs. 11%-18% post-recession). This suggests spouse/partner employment may be putting more pressure on firms trying to motivate employees to relocate.

  • Far more small firms (47% compared to a third on average, historically) saw employees decline relocation last year. These firms reported the highest levels of employee reluctance historically (27%), surpassing even recessionary levels (19%). Reluctance among large firms remained far lower than recessionary levels (40%+), but surpassed recent recovery years (28% vs. 7%-21%).
  • Nearly two-thirds of mid-size and large firms cite spouse/partner employment as a reason employees declined relocation last year, the highest levels seen since 2002.
Question 8
Companies that had employees decline the opportunity to relocate in 2014
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Question 9
Companies indicating declining relocation usually hinders an employee's career
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Question 11
Did the number of employees declining relocation in 2014...
Chart Q11
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Question 11a-1
Reasons employees gave for declining relocation
Chart Q11a
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Question 11a-2
Reasons employees gave for declining relocation
Chart Q11a2
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