Tuesday, May 29, 2018


Studies have show that people are less likely to move to a new job than they have in the past. Economists like to think that if people would just move from high unemployment areas to low unemployment areas, everything would be fine. That ignores a lot of factors.

Of course, unemployed steel workers aren't going to move to the Northwest to write computer code. Now if there was a steel mill somewhere that was hiring, maybe they'd do that. The problem is that whole sections of the economy go down at the same time. Your job isn't being lost to someone across the country, but across oceans.

There's another factor that I don't see in any of these articles about how people should go where the jobs are. Frankly, many of those jobs don't pay enough to make it worth the move. Moving across the country is expensive. Then there's the problem that selling your house in a down market may be impossible without taking a huge loss. At one time companies were willing to pay people to move. While that still happens, it's not as often nor are the companies as generous.

So you have people who are out of work, but they are in a place where they have roots. They have an extended social network. They don't have money, but have a lot of family and friends. Being able to rely on other people is a big deal. It takes a substantial increase in pay to replace that free help with paid help. For example, a friend of mine took a cut in pay to move his family back to his hometown. He made up the loss in pay by having family willing to babysit for free. Child care is expensive.

If you've already lost your job to a changing economy, you are less likely to take a chance in a new area. Everyone knows of someone who moved to a new job only to be laid off soon after. Then they are stuck with no job, no money, and no support system. It's no wonder people are staying put these days. In spite of what the economists say, it makes sense.



  1. I personally know a guy who fits that last paragraph. He never found another job after that and had to take an early and lesser retirement.

    1. Life happens to us while we are making other plans. My retirement planning was derailed by my unplanned retirement.

  2. Many Economists and Sociologists still think we are in the '50s, where one could physically move in order to gain upward mobility. Now, jumping from job to job is considered a detriment, but at the same time internal promotions are considered bad (unless one is part of the ruling clique.)

    We are back in the bad days of Company Towns of the '10s to '30s.

    Only amongst certain management tracks does physical mobility and job/company hopping prove beneficial, and that's really in the upper upper management circle (where it seems like there is one shadow ghost company that controls all the other companies, not to sound conspiratorial, but that's what it seems like.)

    A lot of this is due to companies buying other companies and consolidating, even if all the components of the company stay stateside. Efficiency management strategy has 1 person doing 3-4 people's jobs, often with the corresponding number of managers that 1 person answers to.

    The system is broken. And I don't want to be around when all the wheels come off and the system collapses.

    1. You are right. Only top management is taken care of at all.

      I want to live long enough to see the broken system collapse and then rebuilt into something better. Yeah, I want to live a long long time.

  3. Last year I meet a nurse and doctor that were traveling professionals' .They worked under contract for a set length of time and pay. The nurse lived in her Class C in the parking lot and pocketed her living stipend. This is an isolated field but it shows those that adapt can prosper. Both stated they were looking to semi retire before age 50.

    1. My lovely wife had that option when she was a medical lab tech. Unfortunately, her physical problems caught up to her before she could take advantage of it.

  4. ears ago saw an interview on the today show. one real down to earth lady and two flip young males who obviously had everything and then some.
    they said 'just move!' as though it were easy.
    she countered- who has first , last , deposits for gas, electricity and water? if you lost your income you have nothing.
    if you have no help even moving close is a daunting task.
    the 2 males just looked at her. never heard of reality before.
    if you have family or friends, better stay where you are if you can.
    i think the gov't wants to turn us all into backpacking homeless so when they offer us an agenda 21 cubbyhole we will be 'grateful' and take the cage from sheer exhaustion.

    1. I'd keep on backpacking, myself.

      Those who are well off just can't imagine the difficulties. She pointed out some of the problems and they just drew blanks. (Can't you just get daddy to pay?)