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Canadians Not Keen on Moving for Work

The employment scene may be tough for a good chunk of the Canadian population, but most of us are still not willing to pull up roots, even if it means certain employment.

According to research by Ipsos Reid conducted for the Canadian Employee Relocation Council, just 10 percent of Canadians would relocate for work.

movingThe survey asked more than 2,000 Canadians whether they’d move either within their provinces or to other parts of the country to accept a job offer. A third of them conceded that they could be persuaded for the right job and sweet enough enticements.

The incentive most often singled out by those respondents who said they would consider moving was a 20 percent pay hike, an employer’s offer to pay for all moving expenses (the average cost to relocate a homeowner within Canada is $53,500) and a guarantee that they could return to their current role after two years. Spousal job-finding assistance also ranked high among desirable inducements.

It’s a different scene than in the United States where, after years of staying put, the percentage of workers who moved house for work climbed 35 percent in 2013 over the year prior. According to research from outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, about 13 percent of Americans who got a new job in 2013 relocated to take it, up from 9.8 percent in 2012.

The Canadian Employee Relocation Council, a non-profit organization that represents employers and employment relocation services, identifies the “typical” relocating employee as male, aged 28-40.

In commentary released with its research, Council president and CEO Stephen Cryne called the Canadian findings “troubling” and said they go some distance in explaining why some businesses face the staffing challenges they do.

The study, he says, underscores the need for a more enthusiastic promotion of the benefits of labour mobility in this country.

The upshot of this research is an interesting one: it might explain corporate Canada’s recent preoccupation with temporary foreign workers.

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