Relocation Survey Says Economy Impacting Employee Transfers; Hiring of Spouses More Prevalent; Growing Number are Turning Down Transfers

April 27, 2001

EVANSVILLE, (Ind.) - It appears the nation's economy has affected the number of employee relocations expected this year by corporate America. Among 301 U.S. companies participating in Atlas Van Lines' 34th consecutive Corporate Relocation Survey:

  • One-third (31 percent) said external conditions impacted the number of employee transfers in their companies during 2000. Eighty-five percent of those said the economy was the most significant external factor making that impact (Q. 21). Last year 59 percent of participating companies cited the economy as a significant factor.
  • Forty-four percent cited growth of domestic competition as an external factor that impacted their companies' employee transfers (up from 38 percent the previous year) (Q. 21).
  • Corporate reorganization moved from seventh to third place as an internal factor impacting employee transfers during 2000 (Q. 22).


  • More companies this year -- 50 percent overall -- reported that at least one employee turned down the opportunity to relocate during 2000 (Q. 37a). Thirty-nine percent of respondents last year said one or more employee turned down the opportunity to move.
  • There was a shift in the age range of the most frequently-transferred employee. Seventy-one percent said their most mobile employees were 31 to 40 years old - up from 58 percent last year (Q. 15).
  • It appears that companies are more willing to provide a job for the accompanying spouse in the new location (Q. 23). Eighty-eight percent of participants this year said their companies allow the hiring of the spouse of the transferred employee within the company, compared to 79 percent last year.

Administration of the Move

More copanies than ever have established formal relocation policies, with smaller organizations reporting the biggest jump.

  • Overall, 87 percent - up from 71 percent last year -- said their companies have a formal relocation policy (Q. 5).
  • Seventy-three percent of small companies (compared to 54 percent in last year's survey) reported that they have a formal relocation policy (Q. 5).
  • More respondents - 24 percent overall - reported that their companies afford employees one week or less to accept or decline the opportunity to relocate (Q. 22b). That's up from 14 percent the previous year.
  • The outsourcing of move-related services is up (Q. 24). A total of fifty-three percent of respondents said their companies outsource the administration of relocation services, showing a jump from 40 percent reported in last year's survey. Real estate and household goods transportation took the number one and number two spots in the line up of outsourced services.

The 34th annual Atlas Van Lines Corporate Relocation Survey is posted on the Atlas Web site, Printed copies of the survey are available through Atlas Corporate Communications at 800-638-9797.

With its world headquarters in Evansville, Ind., Atlas Van Lines is a major transporter of household goods and special products through some 600 agents in the United States and Canada and more than 800 worldwide. Atlas is the nation's third-largest carrier of household goods and ranks as fourth-largest van line overall.