Execs more willing to relocate for a job

The percentage of unemployed managers and executives relocating for new positions rose to its highest level in nearly two years, a new report says.

The rise in mobility could indicate more willingness by job seekers to take a loss on the sale of their home, said outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, which did the survey.

It also may indicate more willingness by employers to help the newly hired relocate, Challenger said.

Over the first half of 2011, an average of 9.4 percent of job seekers finding employment relocated for their new positions, Challenger said. That is up from an average relocation rate of 7.6 percent during the same period a year ago.

“The 9.4 percent relocation rate in the first half of 2011 is still low by historical standards, but the increase does indicate that job seekers are finally beginning to loosen the stakes that have kept them tethered to a specific region,” John Challenger, CEO of the firm, said in a news release.

Challenger said survey included about 3,000 job seekers, many of whom are managers and executives, from a wide range of industries and occupations nationwide.

This news raises a few questions for you.

Are you more willing to relocate?

Is it because the weak job market has left you with no other choice?

What is your home-ownership situation? Would you be willing to lose money on your home? Separate from your family?

Has an employer offered to help?

- Henry Unger, The Biz Beat

For instant updates, follow me on Twitter.

32 comments Add your comment

Marie

July 29th, 2011
6:21 am

My husband and I relocated to Durham Nc. He really didnt have a choice it was either that or potentially loose his job. So the company has relocated us. Miss Atl alot but we had to do what we had to do. The jobs oppurtunties were not that great for him in Atl. We also turn our home into a rental property and what a disaster that has been. One bad tenant after another destroying the property. We are considering moving back him stay here in Durham and I back in Atlanta. . We really dont want to separate the family but I am not sure of any other alternative. We could also try to sell our home but it would be at a huge loss.

Anita

July 29th, 2011
6:40 am

@Marie..I am sorry to hear about your experiences. I can only imagine what you are going through. My company does the same thing of uprooting people from their ‘homes’ (not just house but their communities and loved ones they count on) to follow jobs and it makes NO SENSE. I will never understand why they can find a way to send jobs over sea’s for $5.00 a day but can’t find a way for US citizens to work from HOME, where ever that happens to be. Makes me work on that business plan just a little bit harder!!!!

Bruce

July 29th, 2011
7:10 am

I lived in Atlanta 40 years, working at major public companies in manageri
al positions. I lost my job in early 2010 and spent 8 months seeking employment. I was offered a great job in Charlotte so we moved — putting our house on the market and renting in NC. We finally received an offer on the house and will sell at a substantial loss. Yes, it’s painful — I’ve never lost money on any of the five houses I’ve sold, but it is a relief to move on. In this new normal, you have to do what’s necessary, even if it defies economic logic. We left family and friends behind, but we absolutely love Charlotte and the region. Atlanta is just a memory now.

Le Bourgeois

July 29th, 2011
7:23 am

Most people are very willing to relocate for a new job but going back to the topic from yesterday, we can’t because our home are so far underwater and selling is not an option and renting is a headache. If we have to put 20% down on a new home across the country then you can forget the concept of American job mobility.

Bill

July 29th, 2011
8:17 am

Bruce,

What you did does not defy economic logic. You made money on 4 houses, and lost money on one. I would say that overall, you did all right.

Staying put and unemployed while your situation deteriorates further would have defied economic logic.

RelocFromSFL

July 29th, 2011
8:24 am

We moved our family from South Florida in 2007 to ATL right before the housing market went off a cliff. it was hard starting a new life and business but we saw the writing on the wall. We are keeping above water and the business is slowly growing. Thank goodness our expenses are low. But almost everyone that we left behind has lost their job, home or both. The economy we left is 100 times worse than ATL.

Ms. B

July 29th, 2011
8:55 am

I would move for employment. I am finishing my degree in Project Management. I have worked in IT for the past ten years and to grow my career I may have to move to an area with jobs in my field. I have already warned the family. I have to do what I have to do to survive.

jon614

July 29th, 2011
9:03 am

I can commisserate with Marie and others – we left our job in ATL to move to TX because of the closing down of Army Installations. We have had 2 renters in our house and after about $5,000 fix-up and repair jobs after they were evicted, we have a new family in with the hopes of purchasing within 18-24 months. We are upside down on the house so have no other hope but to work through this or take a large loss. We also own in TX and with retirement looming, maybe we can sell here and return to ATL if the new family doesn’t work out. The toughest part of the move was that my wife had to quit an accounting job there and she has had difficulty finding more work here. Age discrimination, though silent, is alive and well in our country. 2 part-time jobs working as an accountant is now helping us address the extra house payment. But the reality of it all is that it is the way of the economy in our country at this time – and living in the USA is still better than the alternative, even as we work through these times.

cwilli

July 29th, 2011
9:03 am

You hit right on the nail head Bill. If opportunity presents itself in another state you should move on. The housing market is going to take a minute to rebound. People are worrying about credit you know what everybody has bad credit now, so the banks, mortgage companies, credit card, and consumers will have to adjust to that fact. People who never defaulted on loans, and credit card payments have done so becasue of job loss.

Michael

July 29th, 2011
9:10 am

I run a small business and can’t really move. When you get fired, sure, that’s a line of demarcation where you have to face facts. When you run your own business you just keep working and hoping things turn around. It sucks when every other vendor is a shyster and every other customer thinks you should work for free or on credit.

Michael

July 29th, 2011
9:13 am

And the H1-B system built on the supposed lack of Americans capable of programming or providing medical care is a joke.

Missing ATL

July 29th, 2011
9:39 am

I lived in ATL for 12 years and loved it. After a layoff in 2008, and no luck at finding a job, I was forced to move to Baton Rouge for employment. I hate it here!! I have a job….but I absolutely hate it. I have a home in ATL that I’m renting, and things seemed to be going well until this month when the tenant didn’t pay their rent. Luckily, I have a property management company to handle all the red tape, but the whole situation is just depressing because I’m stuck with the tab. At this point, I just want to sell and break even. I’ve thought about just letting it go into foreclosure but I’m only 31yrs old and I’d hate to destroy my credit.

Hank

July 29th, 2011
9:48 am

Home tragedy almost as bad as being forced to relocate…

I never saw this coming down the pipe. My neighbor’s spouse passed away unexpectedly and she’s selling her home really far below the market, to move in with family quickly. It’s huge fire sale, so there goes the comps in my neighborhood. Future buyers and the listing agent for my home will point her selling price when they go to make an offer on mine. Never mind I’ve spent thousands of dollars renovating to make my home modern and appealing.

Piggy Bank

July 29th, 2011
9:52 am

Our parent company bought another company and guess what, we are losing out job or having them move to Texas, land of no trees. No way am I moving…my wife has a 26 years at her job. We are just going to fight to survive the best we can here in our dream home of 12 years. Can’t believe corporate america is so cold that they would lay off so many people just to have everyone under their thumb at all times.

Been There

July 29th, 2011
10:17 am

Bruce … have been in your situation and it is NOT fun!

We too have sold 4 homes at a profit. Nothing outlandish but still a profit. The last house we sold lost more than the four profits combined, so the end result was a loss. Very painful to loose money that could be used as savings. If this the new norm, our economy will be painful for years.

Many people cannot move. Mostly just high level execs are getting relocation, and in most cases they will not purchase your home, which was standard practice for exec relo’s in the past. Never once did I have to take the buyout, always sold on our own within days or weeks, not months.

Most high level execs are not moving, the loss on sale would be too devastating. These folks are heavy airline travelers and they can basically live anywhere because they are rarely in the office anyway. Most often the relo is to a city that has not seen a housing depreciation like ATL, so you would be loosing heavily on RE in ATL and paying crazy RE prices in your new city.

Many middle manager have to be transient and willing to relocate to move up. The economy is in a holding pattern, epecially here in ATL the RE market is crucial.

The economy, employment and RE markets ALL have to rebound until we can feel better. Most don’t realize what a delicate balancing act this is. Every facet of our economy depends on the other!

Steve

July 29th, 2011
10:18 am

We also chose to relocate, but had help from my company. We JUST now have a contract on our home after 225 days. We’re breaking even (after 11 years of 30year fixed mortgage) not even counting the fact that we remodeled the whole house last year. Whoever is getting our home is getting a steal… and in the end, I guess we’re just happy to move on. It’s sickening though. I don’t see realty ever being a place where I’ll put my money for investment purposes for probably a decade. Of course, we no longer have any money to put anywhere after almost a year of double mortgages.

ToddW

July 29th, 2011
10:29 am

A derivative – after losing my job at IBM in 2007 (outsourced, of course) – Jobs were non-existent, family didn’t want to move, etc. Went back into consulting and now live on the road and get home on weekends. Also went thru a period in 2008 where there was no work at all and companies wanted you to work for so little PLUS pay your own expenses you’d be operating at a loss. But, you gotta do what you gotta do so we carry on and hope for the best!

wow!

July 29th, 2011
10:29 am

OH look it this. Americans moving for jobs because they had “no options”. So now you want to move and take the jobs of Americans that live at those cities. It disgusts me to hear the stories here but the same people can totally dispose of other people like illegal immigrants and tell them they need to stay where they are, completely throw them and their families away but when it comes down to the bottom line they would do the exact same, they are doing drastic changes like moving somewhere where there is a job. How ironic

Yep

July 29th, 2011
10:30 am

We also had to relocate in order to survive in this economy. Selling my home in today’s market was not even an option. The rental market is doing really well given the fact that so many in my area lost their homes. We have found a hopefully good tentant and plan to try and ride out the bad housing market to at least recoup our initial investment in our home. We would move back in a minute to Cumming, but it appears that the job market will not return for some time now.

If the older business climate did not make me a mercenary, certainly the economy has! We have lots of ground to recover once/if the economy returns….

Mike

July 29th, 2011
10:31 am

I was underwater $40,000 on my home and had to use my retirement account, including tax liabilities for early withdrawal, to pay off the home to move with my job to ATL. I have been here over a year and a half and my wife has not been able to find a new job, any job doing anything, since we moved here. Our finances are a mess because of moving costs and repairs on our previous home to sell it, plus student loans so my wife could get her college degree. We are hugely in debt. At least I have a job and we are surviving, but things will get ugly soon if the economy goes over the edge again and my wife can’t help supplement our income.

Steve

July 29th, 2011
10:46 am

@Mike – we have the same situation. Had to borrow off 401k, finances are a mess, just barely making it. Just hopefully our wives will find work to right the ship.

@WOW – obviously you are a troll. I cannot even follow if you have any logic. Americans moving state to state for their families is legal and typical. You do not ever see Americans selling drugs and guns in Mexico city to support their families.

FlexibleForToday

July 29th, 2011
10:52 am

Henry, interesting article but no surprise to those who were monitoring the economy and all the shenanigans over the past 10-15 years. Yes, it is unfortunately many folks invested and lost in Real Estate but we saw this downfall (inflated house price and false profit which led to more greed) starting in the late 1990s. As one would say, “it is the chicken coming home to roost”. Also, as historical information would confirm, many Executives/Professionals have been relocating for jobs (work Monday thru. Thursday) outside of Atlanta Region for many years which explains Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport as the “Most Busiest Airport” in the world. Sure time have changed but few folks want to make the necessary adjustments. In Georgia, the main problems are there are by far too few good paying jobs (and with less benefits) and by far too many folks who are not willing to relocate as folks once did in the past. Yes, change is hard for many, and thus we will continue to struggle.

Easy Fix.

July 29th, 2011
11:34 am

Here’s a simple solution to all our problems – If you have a job, stay. If not, move. Obviously if you are working, you are an asset to Atlanta. If you aren’t, you’re a drain on resources. Best to move on to greener pastures than stay and muddy the waters for everyone else.

Steve

July 29th, 2011
11:39 am

Well that makes no sense.

if you choose to leave to take a job somewhere else for whatever reason… that also means that:

1) you are filling a position somewhere else that they could not fill with the local talent
2) you are freeing up a position so that someone else can have a new job.

Also, moving locations is far from simple. It’s much much easier to stay put and have no job then to somehow find the means to relocate your whole family. Requires a lot of money to move…

FlexibleForToday

July 29th, 2011
11:40 am

@ Easy Fix.

Sounds like a great plan!

FlexibleForToday

July 29th, 2011
11:45 am

@ Steve.

Have you ever heard of the great migration to the west? If it is not working here, move on to better pasture. It makes no sense to continue suffering.

Been There

July 29th, 2011
11:56 am

Many companies won’t even look at your resume if you are not local. Someone that has to relo or has family or a house in another location is not considered. Very few bosses want to deal with an employee that has to worry about family, a home, etc. in another city. You cannot give your new company 100% if you have “baggage”. While relocation may be up, it is no where near what it was even in 2007.

People may be willing to relocate, but there are often more road blocks than freeways. Many have found after some number crunching that it would be financial suicide to relocate.

bigdaddy

July 29th, 2011
11:58 am

To wow!, Yes people are moving about in the US because we live here, this is our country. The illegal imigrants are here illegally. People who are here legally and move about is normal. That is a fact of life.

Steve

July 29th, 2011
12:00 pm

The people who migrated west didn’t have 6 figure mortgage statements, families who were rooted in the community, etc etc. They lived off nothing already, so it was all for gain (other than the aches and pains of physically moving yourself across the country). Also, it was the great unknown of possible fortunes (and land masses) that they were after. I think we live in slightly different times.

Have you have actually moved yourself in recent times (last 10 years) and are still working and supporting a family?

John

July 29th, 2011
1:36 pm

Been There makes an excellent point. I have found in the last year that most companies in cities across the U.S. are really looking to hire local, if at all possible. (I have been told this flat out on a few occasions by sincere, transparent HR and corporate folks I have interviewed with over the phone–and it has been easy to figure in other cases. If company can at all find a comparable prospect locally, you will lose to that person.) I concur with Been There’s insight on rationale. Companies realize that mid-career folks will have a house and there likely will be issues re. that (i.e., strong possibility of boomerang back to prior city in year or 2 if house remains unsold). Again, I am getting this vibe through personal experience as a very qualified guy in his 40s who has been unemployed for 1 year. (And I have had much better luck and interest–but no cigar–from Atlanta companies during such time frame.)

GaNative

July 30th, 2011
1:46 am

This topic of relocating for a job is another reason why the housing market is going to be really slow to rebound if it rebounds. Why in the world would anyone buy a house these days knowing that their job situation could change any minute. You’ve got to be mobile in today’s job market and you can’t waste time trying to sell a house or rent a house, therefore why bother with it. Sure it’s supposedly a long term investment, but you don’t have long term stability in employment to make it worth the risk. Futhermore, it’s a gator eating at your pocketbook whenever government decides they want to raise more money to make up for their budget shortfalls. Look at what is happening in Dekalb County for homeowners. While our properties have eroded in value, we are being hit with a 26% increase in property taxes.

Bob Walters

July 30th, 2011
4:07 pm

Wealth building should be a priority for everyone. The weak job market has nothing to do with it. Each American has a responsibility to make the most of their talents and that may very well mean changing employers, regardless of the location. Only an idiot would stick with a bad investment, i.e. choosing to live where employment was not available.

The home-ownership questions have absolutely no relevance. How can you pay a mortgage without an income, unless you’re draining your savings? Only an idiot would stick with a bad investment, i.e. choosing to drain all of your savings so you can continue to pay a mortgage on a house in a location where employment was not available.

Separate from family? Citizens of other countries routinely relocate not only to other cities, but to other countries to support their families. Shame on any American who thinks he is so entitled as to be above the rest of humanity on this planet.

An employer that offers relocation assistance for any employee beyond those with exceptional skills, is an employer to be avoided! Obviously they are not practicing fiscal prudence and are likely to be at risk in terms of their economic viability.