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Examine relocating for new job

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McLEAN, Va. (6/6/11)--Relocating because of a new job? There are a few things you might want to check out first before you make the commitment. Among workers laid off in the past 12 months who found new jobs, 23% relocated to a new city or state, according to CareerBuilder.com. Many folks who relocate become instant landlords, renting the properties they leave behind, or tenants in their new communities. More than 500 midsize and large cities have seen a rise in the number of homes rented rather than owned (USAToday.com May 31). If you’re considering moving for a job, there are things other than employment to consider as well, advises (March 8):
* Costs--Moving is expensive, and fewer companies are willing to pay relocation costs these days. Twenty-eight percent of companies offer relocation lump-sum payments, but even those companies plan to reduce or cut relocation benefits, according to the Society for Human Resource Management’s 2010 employee benefits survey. Look at living costs in the area you’re considering. It costs a two-parent, two-child family 50% more to live in the Washington, D.C., area than it would to live in, say, Macon, Ga. Use the calculator from the Economic Policy Institute, Washington, D.C., to figure costs. * Look beyond the paycheck--Evaluate whether the overall compensation package is worth the move. Are there growth opportunities within the new organization? Do you have a comfortable cash cushion--six months’ living expenses--in case things don’t turn out as planned? * Skills, key areas--Identify places you’d be willing to move to for a job, but keep family needs in mind. Tap your network, attend industry conferences and events, and find contacts at companies that would be a good match for you. Make sure your skills will be transferable to a new location. Evaluate your skill set and experience, and decide if both would be a good fit for where you want to move. * Check unemployment rates--Even if the job you’re considering seems stable, what happens if you become unemployed again? Check out state unemployment rates at bls.gov. Before taking a job in another state, examine underlying reasons for a state’s unemployment rate, and figure how your occupation is expected to fare both long term and short term, according to The Wall Street Journal (March 31).
For more information about surviving a job loss, see the “Get Back in the Game After Losing a Job” Turning Point in the Home & Family Finance Resource Center.