By Jacob Passy
Forget greener pastures — workers simply appear to be looking for cheaper ones.
For months now, much hay has been made about the seemingly huge wave of workers who are quitting the current jobs and finding new ones. Some industries, like tech, appear to be harder hit by this trend. Research suggests that the upheaval may be concentrated among the youngest workers, at least so far, given that they are more readily able to withstand the stresses associated with switching jobs.
To the extent that the “Great Resignation” may continue into 2022, one major driving force could be behind the pattern: High living costs. A new report from Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC found that 41% of employed Americans would take a pay cut or accept a job with a lower salary so that they could relocate to a region that is more affordable.
As for where workers were most inclined to relocate, certain metro areas across the country appear poised to benefit from this trend more than others. Miami and Austin, Texas, were the two most popular destinations. Meanwhile, nearly half of employed Americans who lived in the Northeast and West suggested that they would make a trade-off between their salary and the cost of living.
Notably, Coldwell Banker reported differences in preferences based on a respondent’s gender, race and parental status. For instance, Black Americans were most interested in relocating to Atlanta. Portland, Ore., and Charlotte, N.C., were much more popular with women than men. And workers with kids cited Dallas-Ft. Worth as a desirable destination alongside Miami and Austin.
‘Americans are still prioritizing homeownership’
Younger workers were more likely to want to move. Over half of employed people between the ages of 18 and 34 said they would trade lower pay for more affordable living, and the same way true of 47% of workers between the ages of 35 and 44. The study was based on a survey of more than 2,000 adults, conducted online by The Harris Poll.
Growing families could be one factor behind why younger workers are more inclined to consider a move. Coldwell Banker — which obviously has a vested interest in people moving and buying homes — reported that 57% of young homeowners said that their housing needs were changing because their family was getting larger, up from 50% of these individuals back in February.
“Young adults no longer feel constrained to living in the same city, even if it means taking a lower salary in exchange for living in a more affordable location,” M. Ryan Gorman, president and CEO, Coldwell Banker Real Estate, said in the report. “Younger folks may be redefining the American Dream, but one thing remains clear: Americans are still prioritizing homeownership.”