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Staying Put: Why Nobody’s Moving Right Now

This Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2016, file photo shows a house for sale in Coral Gables, Fla. (Alan Diaz/AP)
This Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2016, file photo shows a house for sale in Coral Gables, Fla. (Alan Diaz/AP)

Americans are moving at record low numbers. Why? Are they staying put? And what does it mean for our economy?

Forever, it seems, America thought of itself as a nation on the move. Literally.  Americans coming as immigrants. Americans moving west. Americans packing up and moving for jobs, for change, for adventure. The latest numbers out show Americans are not packing up and moving so much anymore.  We’re moving at the lowest rate in recorded history. We’re staying put. Why? This hour On Point, Americans not on the move, and why we’re not heading out anymore. — Tom Ashbrook


Abigail Wozniak, labor economist and professor of economics at the University of Notre Dame. ( @abigailwozniak)

David Schleicher, professor at Yale Law School. ( @ProfSchleich)

William Frey, demographer looking at urban populations and migration. Fellow at the Brookings Institution.

From Tom’s Reading List

Census.gov: United States Mover Rate at a New Record Low — “According to results from the 2016 Current Population Survey Annual Social and Economic Supplement (CPS ASEC), 11.2 percent of the U.S. population age 1 and over moved between 2015 and 2016. This is the lowest one-year mover rate reported by the CPS ASEC, which began tracking migration in 1948. At that time, moving was more commonplace, as demonstrated by an annual mover rate of 20.2 percent.”

The Wall Street Journal: A Job-Hopping Generation Has Second Thoughts — “The share of millennials who said they expect to remain at their current job for more than five years increased 4 percentage points, from 27% to 31%. The survey, which focused on full-time workers born between 1983 and 1995 in 30 countries, traced the increased loyalty to an undercurrent of pessimism in developed countries. The time between the two surveys, conducted in 2015 and 2016, spanned a tumultuous year for much of the world.”

CityLab: America the Stuck — “Just slightly more than one in ten Americans (11.2 percent) moved between 2015 and 2016, almost half the 20.2 percent rate back in 1948, when the Census began tracking American mobility. Mobility was once the cornerstone of the American Dream, but today Americans move less often than Canadians, and only a bit more than Finns or Danes.”

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