Last year, most Americans stayed put. The Census Bureau reported yesterday that the national mover rate fell to 11.9 percent, the lowest rate since the data were first tracked in 1948. Of that 11.9 percent, only 13 percent actually moved out of state. The vast majority of the moves were actually in the same county.
William Frey of the Brookings Institution had this to say to the AP: "It's a combination of the inability to buy or sell homes, locally, as well as a drying up of jobs particularly in hot housing markets. ...The lure of the suburbs for immigrants, in particular, has been curtailed as homeownership there has proved to be elusive."
Not surprisingly, employers report paying for fewer relocations in 2008, according to Atlas Van Lines’ annual Corporate Relocation Survey. Nearly two-thirds of employers report having had employees turn down requests for relocation, largely citing housing as the reason. An ugly stat from the study that I hope doesn't hold true in this economy: "38 percent say declining an opportunity that involves relocation can hurt an employee’s career."
When it comes to the job hunt, homeowners who are out of work and can't sell their homes, and may be limiting their job search to within commuting range would obviously find this market much more challenging. I'm curious to know what has been the bigger issue for readers--the inability to even get a job that would require a move (simply because the job market is so oversupplied at the moment)--or the inability to sell a home, should a job offer involve moving?