Far more firms cited spouse/partner employment as affecting employee relocations "almost always" or "frequently" than at any time over the past twelve years (62% vs. roughly half or less). Historically, small firms see this as a regular occurrence roughly half the time, and this year’s level is similar (58%). The effect is more acute for other firms: an increase of more than 20 percentage points since 2013 for mid-size firms (65% vs. 43%) after an increase to 54% last year, and nearly double for large firms since last year (62% vs. 32%).
With these dramatic shifts it is not surprising that far more firms than ever now offer spouse/partner employment assistance. Firms of all sizes are driving the increase; however, it continues to be offered more often by mid-size (69%) and large (72%) firms than by small firms (54%).
Around three-fourths of companies offer to help find jobs for spouses or partners relocating internationally, far more than ever measured previously. Over the past seven years, levels of spousal assistance for international and domestic moves were nearly identical; this year, assistance to spouses/partners of internationally relocating employees is even more likely. In the past, mid-size and large firms were far more likely to offer spousal assistance internationally. Now assistance levels are nearly identical for companies of all sizes that relocate employees abroad. Small firms remain less likely to offer assistance domestically, even as mid-size and large firms offer international and domestic assistance at high levels.
As family issues/ties and spouse/partner employment exert pressure on relocations, even as the housing crisis diminishes, and employee reluctance is returning to recessionary levels, it is clear greater support is needed for relocating employees. Research shows that growing percentages of adults are finding themselves caring for both older family members and children. These individuals often head more affluent/high earning households and are part of the highly educated pool employers tap for relocation. The survey this year reflects far greater accommodations being made overall for childcare (64% vs. 31%-43% historically) and elder care (53% vs. 16%-26% historically), even if the provision is merely a list of possible centers or service providers for support during relocation. Mid-size and large firms are far more likely to offer family assistance than small firms are, although the percentages offering assistance have increased substantially across company size.