Tags: Relocation | Costs | Jobs | Recovery

Rising Relocation Costs Hurting Jobs Recovery

Monday, 01 Aug 2011 08:59 AM

Rising relocation costs, especially those associated with selling an underwater house for less than it’s worth, are hampering Americans from picking up and moving to take new jobs, experts say.

Companies are also finding it harder to attract talent from other parts of the country as well.

Nationwide, a third of 100 companies across a range of industries said they changed programs in 2009 and 2010 to help relocate employees, according to a survey by Worldwide Employee Relocation Council, a national trade group, the Cincinnati Enquirer reports.

Some are assuming losses on the sales of underwater homes, while others are looking to hire locally only, the newspaper adds.

Many benefits such as outright buying of executive homes are history.
Some say people are going to take a loss on a home if it means landing a job.

"The difference between being unemployed and employed is enormous for people," says Abigail Wozniak, an assistant economics professor at Notre Dame.

"Even when it means they have to take a loss on their house, it's probably a move they're going to make."

The housing market, often the scapegoat for throwing the country into the worst recession since the Great Depression, remains weak.

Home prices were flat in May and continue hovering around 2003 levels, which still leaves a lot of Americans owing more on their houses are worth, according to the Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller home price index.

Experts say recovery in the sector is still a long way away.

“I don’t think we’ve finished with the decline” in the market, says Mark Vitner, senior economist at Wells Fargo, according to the Washington Post.

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