Around the World, Employees are Ready to Relocate

Reports from various surveys shows employees desire to relocate around the world, especially those from India, millennials, and U.S. tech workers.

Data from recent reports overwhelmingly suggests that employees are willing to relocate for their jobs. Randstad Workmonitor’s Global Report was conducted online among employees aged 18 to 65 working a minimum of 24 hours a week in a paid role across Europe, Asia Pacific, and the Americas. It looks at trends in the global and local workforce, such as employee confidence and personal motivation. The most recent report, covering Q3 2019, shows that for reasons such as pay and satisfaction, workers around the world would consider relocating for their jobs.

Globally, 64% of surveyed workers would consider relocating if it would improve their career and work-life balance.

Globally, 64% of surveyed workers would consider relocating if it would improve their career and work-life balance. When looking at individual countries, those most willing to relocate for these reasons come from Chile and India, at 92%. The global results also showed that 54% of surveyed workers are willing to relocate for a “meaningful career,” while 59% would relocate for a higher salary. For both of these categories, workers in India were the most willing at 92% and 91%, respectively. When evaluating whether employees would rather switch careers than relocate, a little over half (54%) prefer to switch careers, suggesting that many are still willing to relocate for their careers.

The report also looked at which countries employees would most like to relocate to if they had to for work. Globally, the top three choices were the United States, Germany, and Australia, but the report also breaks the results down by countries in a region. For example, Germans would most like to relocate to Switzerland, the Japanese would most like to relocate to the United States, and Argentinians would most like to relocate to Spain. While not all countries within a region were surveyed, the available country data shows unique relocation preferences.

Another survey by global staffing firm Robert Half looks at mobility within the United States. The study polled 2,800 U.S. workers and found that 62% were willing to relocate for a job, with 44% of respondents citing better pay and benefits as the top considerations in their decision. Geographically, the fewest number of employees who would consider relocating were in Minneapolis, Boston, Philadelphia and Detroit. Those living in Raleigh, NC; Des Moines, IA; Miami, FL; or Charlotte, NC were more willing to relocate.

Other factors to consider are the preferences of millennials and tech workers. Millennials are now the largest generation in the U.S. workforce, while tech workers make up about 10% of U.S. jobs. Their desire to relocate will play a major factor in employment. The Robert Half survey showed that workers aged 18 to 34 were most likely to be willing to relocate at 76%, followed by those aged 35 to 54 at 62%. These numbers confirm similar data from LinkedIn, which revealed that when looking at U.S. job switching activity in 2016, millennials were 50% more likely to relocate. In another survey from LinkedIn of more than 1,000 tech workers in the U.S., 57% have moved for a new job in the past, while 80% have considered moving for a new job.

Overall, this data suggests employees are increasingly open to mobility. If this trend continues, relocation managers may find themselves moving more workers from India, young millennials in the workforce, or a tech employee in the U.S. While factors affecting the desire to relocate will vary, such as improved quality of life and the benefits package, the data is clear: many employees around the world are ready to relocate.

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