More American workers avoid relocating

Published: Friday, March 8 2013 10:41 a.m. MST

Workers from United Van Lines unload Jody Phillips' property at a storage unit in Saratoga Springs on Wednesday, Aug. 22.

Michael De Groote, Deseret News

Enlarge photo»

The tradition of frequent moves among American workers is slowing down, according to researchers at Princeton University and the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.

The rate at which Americans move has been slowing down for decades, but now it is half of what it was in the early 1990s. This is partially explained by changes in the job market.

“Fewer workers need to move to obtain the best jobs, because labor markets around the country have become more similar,” Greg Kaplan and Sam Schulhofer-Wohl wrote in their working paper. “We show that the mix of available jobs differs less from state to state than it did 20 years ago, and the income a worker can earn in a particular occupation depends less than before on what state she works in.”

Those options allow workers to live in the state they prefer with a job that they want as well.

They also found that, thanks to the rise of information available through technology and greater ease in traveling for leisure, Americans are now more able to see what it would be like to live in different places. They are less likely to move as they talk to others who have lived elsewhere and decide they might not like moving as much as they thought.

This change could save Americans money as they move around less and become stable in one location.

EMAIL: alovell@deseretnews.com

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