Relocate for the same job? Nearly half of working Americans say, "Yes, if I can get a better quality of life"

Fairfax County EDA survey indicates one quarter of workforce has looked elsewhere for jobs since 2005

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

If they could find the same job in a community that they thought offered a higher quality of life, almost half (43 percent) of working Americans would move, according to a new Ipsos Public Affairs poll conducted on behalf of the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority (FCEDA, 

Many workers have already looked. About one in four (23 percent) of those surveyed say that within the past five years they sought employment in areas that they perceive to have a better quality of life. 

Economic factors are the predominant reasons for wanting to pull up roots. More than one-third (36 percent combined) said they would move to another community that was either more affordable or had a more robust economy. Another 16 percent cited better schools as an impetus for moving, 13 percent were attracted to a greater array of entertainment and recreational amenities, and 11 percent wanted better safety and security.

Almost two in five (38 percent) of those surveyed said they live where they do primarily because of their job.  When asked why they have been content to stay where they are, more than one-third (35 percent) cited family considerations. 

“The results of this survey underscore the myriad factors that go into decisions about where to work and where to live,” said Gerald L. Gordon, Ph.D., president and CEO of the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority.  “While jobs are a key determining factor, so are the many tangible and intangible elements that contribute to a community’s quality of life.  In Fairfax County, we are ever mindful of the need to strike the balance between creating an attractive employment base and providing the necessary ingredients for a livable community.”  

Additional Survey Findings

The survey unearthed a wide range of findings based on various demographic factors, including:

  • The younger the respondent, the more likely he or she was to consider moving.  Sixty-seven percent of respondents aged 18 to 34 said they would contemplate a move versus 28 percent of older Americans.  Those with kids also are more likely to consider moving – 51 percent versus 38 percent for those without children. 
  • Factors that had the most effect as to whether or not someone had sought a job elsewhere included age and earning level. Thirty-seven percent of those aged 18 to 34 had looked for a job in another community, as did 35 percent of those earning $25,000 or less a year.
  • Although 36 percent of respondents cited economic factors as the top reason to consider moving, 31 percent of those with children put better schools on the top of their list. So did 24 percent of those aged 18 to 34. 


Aout the survey

These are some of the findings of an Ipsos poll conducted June 3-14, 2010.  For the survey, a nationally representative sample of 1,083 randomly-selected employed adults residing in the U.S. interviewed by telephone via Ipsos’ U.S. Telephone Express omnibus.  With a sample of this size, the results are considered accurate within ±3.0 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, of what they would have been had the entire population of employed adults in the U.S. been polled. The margin of error will be larger within regions and for other sub-groupings of the survey population. These data were weighted to ensure the sample's regional and age/gender composition reflects that of the U.S. population according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau.