February 03, 2017

Homesteading. Credit: Andy Armstrong Flickr / Creative Commons

This week’s episode has been about migration between countries, but what about migration within our own country? Most people think that Americans have gotten more and more mobile over time. But, Abigail Wozniak, an economics professor at University of Notre Dame, says that’s not true. She explains why, and when, Americans started moving less.

Three Takeaways:

  • Wozniak says that workers’ mobility started declining as early as the 70s. Since then, the downturn has been pretty continuous. 
  • People are moving less because they’re changing jobs less. And all workers are working the same job for longer, whether they’re in a big city or not, whether they have a bachelor’s degree or higher. As Wozniak explains, “We see this over a really broad swath of workers.” 
  • The decline in mobility doesn’t mean that jobs are more secure than in the past. Wozniak says that those who have jobs with long tenure (which she defines as eight or more years) are also becoming a smaller share of the workforce. Bad news bears.

More Reading:

immigration, Abigail Wozniak, Culture, Mobility

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