Pew Research recently analyzed the US Census results and found that the number of people who changed residences in the US between 2006 and 2007 was the lowest ever–just 15%–since they started tracking these things in the ’40’s.
While it’s true that dual incomes present complex challenges for working professionals considering relocation, other cultural factors are at play as well. In today’s ‘flat’ world, education is key to competing successfully–many couples are reluctant to relocate and disrupt their children’s education.
But perhaps the most significant barrier today to relocation, not yet reflected in these numbers, is our pursuit of the American Dream. Housing has always complicated moves but never has it been the factor it is today in a professional’s quest to better their career.
Nearly 25% of the homes in the US are ‘underwater’ meaning that what is owed on the the mortgage is more than the house is worth. In certain markets, like in parts of Nevada, that number is as high as 50%. Compounding that problem is the difficulting in getting your house to sell–some markets have so much inventory on the market that it will take years to move through it.
Like a lot of things about this economy, we’re upside down on where the jobs are and where the readily available talent is. Too often, an unemployed professional is in a market where the economics are preventing them from taking an opportunity without taking a bath.