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Relocation Continues Despite Increased Costs

April 24, 2002

Eighty-two percent of the companies that relocate employees see theirrelocation activity for 2002 increasing or staying the same, according to theWorkforce 2002 HR Trends Survey. The figure is slightly lower -- 73 percent --for relocating new hires.

When asked about the increasing costs of employee relocation, surveyrespondents said:

  • 43 percent were more careful about selecting those to be relocated
  • 14 percent were reducing the relocation benefits package

One respondent company in the 5,000- to 24,999-employee range said, "we areensuring that our benefits are tracking in a competitive sense with the market,as the market responds to relocation costs, particularly if the trend isdownward."

Among the reasons cited for increasing employee relocations in 2002:

  • Specialized talent that is needed elsewhere in the company: 20 percent
  • Opening new offices: 9 percent
  • Harder to find qualified people in specific geographic areas: 9 percent
  • Moving offices/plants to other relocations: 7 percent
  • Plant/office consolidations: 6 percent
  • Opening new lines of business: 4 percent
  • Other: 4 percent

One company in the 5,000 to 49,999-person range delayed relocating in 2001."Those employees are now relocating in 2002," said the respondent. "Also,[there is] an increase in [the] current management development program whichrequires relocating on a yearly basis."

Another 5,000 to 49,000-person company was "replacing laid-off employees bymoving others."

Approximately 8 percent of the survey respondents said that were decreasingrelocation activity for 2002. The reasons cited included fewer new hires torelocate (17 percent), not recruiting out of the area (7 percent) and feweremployees to relocate (3 percent).

Issues Affecting Employees’ Desire to Relocate
The reluctance of employees to relocate due to family or lifestyle issues isthe number one relocation issue facing respondents. Seventy-six percent citedthis concern.

The second-ranking reason cited (by 35 percent of respondents) is thereluctance of employees to relocate because of cost-of-living increases in thenew location.

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