Time to Move Where the Jobs Are?

Relocating for a career dipped to a historic low in the wake of the Great Recession. Since the labor market has been recovering and jobs are now available, however, there are signs that suggest workers are now more willing to pack up their bags and move to where the jobs are.

The ability to freely move from city to city, state to state, grants job seekers the opportunity to have better luck in their job search. There’s a wider variety of jobs and industries a job seeker might find only if they cast their net wider geographically.

This week, ZipRecruiter published the 2017 Relocation Report, which takes a look at the top cities where U.S. job seekers are interested in moving if the job offer is right. The findings result from analyzing 20.4 million anonymized job applications submitted by 1.4 million job seekers on ZipRecruiter’s jobs platform in addition to at the ratio between open jobs and job seekers in the month of June in each MSA. The report also includes salary data from PayScale and median home prices from realtor.com.

The team also surveyed 2,000 active ZipRecruiter job seekers on their sentiments towards relocation. We wanted to bring the key findings to the public’s attention:

  • 48.6% of survey respondents said they had considered relocation. That’s a little under half of respondents, and this number is trending upward with the recovery.
  • Of those respondents who would not consider relocating, 66.3% of respondents say ‘more money’ might actually change their mind. 6.2% percent said they would change their mind for ‘cheaper housing’ and 4.6% for ‘more available jobs’
  • The top relocation destinations overall, according to most applied to cities, include New York, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and San Francisco.
  • Of the top relocation destinations overall, we found that job seekers preferred to relocate within their current region. That being said, 75% of top desired relocations are in the Northeast.

Moreover, the data looks at the Opportunity Index for each of the top relocation cities, measuring the ratio of available jobs to job seekers in each city, and then ranks it against the median ratio across all cities. Boston and Denver top that scale, at 0.95 and 0.98, respectively. While Boston ranks 6th and Denver, 20, on the overall most desirable relocation destination list, the Opportunity Index indicates that these cities actually have the most available opportunities for job seekers within that list.

Note: bonus points for Boston — the median salary is one of the higher ones we’re seeing in the $60,000 range!

We are increasingly seeing a job seekers’ market. This means that now, more than anytime in the last decade, is a good time to consider moving for a job. In addition to the usual suspects — family, lifestyle, salary, job title — consider the quality of the job market when looking at potential places to move. Some areas of the country may have relative shortages of your skills, which will give you a leg up.

You can find the full report on ZipRecruiter’s blog, The Top Relocation Destinations for 2017

Written by

ZipRecruiter's former Chief Economist, Cathy Barrera is the founding economist of Prysm Group, a leading blockchain economics and governance design firm.

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