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Employees Declining Relocation

Impact of Housing/Mortgage Concerns Continues To Fall,
Spouse/Partner Employment Remains High

The impact of the Great Recession and housing crisis is fading. As a reason for declining relocation, housing/mortgage concerns has lessened in each of the last three years; it now falls just within pre-recession levels for the first time since 2006. Only small firms indicate its influence exceeds pre-recessionary numbers, although well below recessionary highs. For the third straight year, family issues/ties retains the top spot among firms of all sizes. Spouse/partner employment appears in second place for the third year in a row as well—and remains near the highest levels recorded since the turn of the century. Understandably, families that came through the Great Recession may be reluctant to gamble financial security on single salaries, placing a higher priority on keeping a dual-income household. The impact of this factor fell to a low of 39% in 2011, likely due to the difficulty of obtaining employment. Four years later, it retains a sixteen percent gain (55%).

More than half of firms saw employees decline relocation last year, which is not unexpected. However, while employee reluctance (22%) falls slightly below the peaks of 2008 (28%) and 2009 (29%) and its jump in 2014 (28%), it remains above post-recession levels (11%-18%) of recent years. This suggests that spouse/partner employment may be continuing to put more pressure on firms trying to motivate employees to relocate. However, while firms are seeing reluctance at higher levels, a bit more also report decreases in reluctance over the past two years, although at lower levels than those seeing increased reluctance.

  • Far more small firms (48% vs. a third on average, historically) saw employees decline relocation last year, similar to 2014 (47%). While reluctance fell from 2014 (27%) it remained within recessionary levels (17% vs. 15%-19%). Reluctance at mid-size firms also remains at recessionary highs (30%) and has been for the past two years. However, reluctance among large firms falls far lower than recessionary levels (19% vs. 40%+) and dips within recovery ranges post-recession (7%-21%).
  • More than half of firms of all sizes cite spouse/partner employment as a reason employees declined relocation last year, near the highest levels since 2002. For large firms, it nearly equals family issues/ties (57% vs. 62%).
Question 8
Companies that had employees decline the opportunity to relocate in 2015
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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 2015...
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Question 11a-1
Reasons employees gave for declining relocation
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Question 11a-2
Reasons employees gave for declining relocation
Chart Q11a2
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