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Employees Declining Relocation

Impact of Housing/Mortgage Continues To Fall,
Spouse/Partner Employment Remains High

Housing/mortgage concerns as a reason for declining relocation has fallen the last four years. It is now within pre-recession levels for the second time since 2007—and for the first time across company size. In general, mid-size and large firms continue to be more affected than small firms (31% & 28% vs. 18%). For the fourth straight year, family issues/ties takes the top spot among firms of all sizes. Spouse/partner employment continues to hold second place for the fourth year in a row and remains near the highest levels recorded since the turn of the century. The Great Recession made it difficult for many families to maintain dual-income status; it appears employees remain mindful of the risk relocation can pose to their household’s earnings. The impact of this factor had fallen to 39% in 2011, likely due to the difficulty of simply obtaining employment; it retains an eighteen percent gain over this low (57%).

Nearly two-thirds of firms saw employees decline relocation last year, which is not unexpected, but at the high end historically. While increased employee reluctance (20%) remains slightly below the peaks of 2008 (28%), 2009 (29%), and 2014 (28%), it remains above typical post-recession levels (11%-18%) of recent years. This suggests firms trying to motivate employees to relocate are feeling continued pressure from such factors as family issues/ties and spousal/partner employment. However, while increased reluctance remains at higher levels, a bit more firms also report decreases in employee reluctance over the past three years compared to many previous years, although at somewhat lower levels compared to the increases.

  • Far more small firms (55% vs. a third on average, historically) saw employees decline relocation last year, similar to 2015 (48%) and increased reluctance actually rose above recessionary levels for small firms (25% vs. 15%-19%). Reluctance at mid-size firms fell compared to the previous two years (21% vs. 30%) but remains within recessionary ranges (20%-30%) over the past three years. However, reluctance among large firms falls again, far lower than recessionary levels (12% vs. 40%+) to well within post-recession recovery ranges (7%-21%).
  • More than half of firms of all sizes cite spouse/partner employment as a reason employees declined relocation last year, near the highest levels seen since 2002.
Question 8
Companies that had employees decline the opportunity to relocate in 2016
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Question 9
Companies indicating declining relocation usually hinders an employee's career
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Question 11
Did the number of employees declining relocation in 2016...
Chart Q11
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Question 11a-1
Reasons employees gave for declining relocation
Chart Q11a
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Question 11a-2
Reasons employees gave for declining relocation
Chart Q11a2
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