Families more willing to move for the woman’s job
According to a new Mayflower survey, Americans are more willing to move for the wife’s job today than just five years ago. And, in fact, almost 90 percent of Americans believe that relocating for the wife or mom’s job is now more common.
“This data supports what our agents across the United States are reporting – more families are moving for mom’s job than ever before,” says Melissa Sullivan, director, marketing communications, Mayflower.
Nearly half of respondents said they know someone who has recently moved for the wife’s job, which is not surprising since 40 percent of married women surveyed reported earning the same or more than their spouse. This new data complements the results of a 2013 Pew Research Center analysis, which found that in a record 40 percent of households with children under the age of 18, married and single moms are either the sole or primary source of income for the family.
“For us, gender was never part of the conversation when it came to our careers,” said Katy Michael, a Mayflower customer and mother of two who recently relocated her family for a career opportunity in Boulder, Colo. “We weighed the pro and cons, and decided to move to Boulder because it was ultimately the right decision not for me or for him, but for our entire family.”
The survey found that the majority of women would be willing to move their family for their job, and more than half of families report that they’d support the decision. Whether they are moving for the man’s or woman’s job, one in three Americans (33 percent) say they feel more comfortable purchasing a home today than last year. And nearly a third (31 percent) say they are now ready to make a move and anticipate looking for a new home within the next year.
According to the survey, younger generations were more likely to support a move for the wife’s job than older generations. Nearly three-fourths (72 percent) of Millennials would support the move, but only 37 percent of pre-Boomers and 59 percent of Boomers would do so.
“As women continue to rise in the workforce, there appears to be a corresponding impact on family dynamics,” says Dr. Fred Medway, a professor of psychology at the University of South Carolina who studies family relocation. “Millennials tend to have less preconceived notions about the breadwinning role and are more comfortable sharing the career spotlight.”
When asked about who should be the breadwinner, 45 percent of survey respondents reported that they think spouses should take turns in their careers. Regardless of whether it’s the man or the woman, the primary earner’s career tends to drive most family relocations. Among those willing to move to a new city for a job, the survey showed higher compensation is the leading motive. Other important influences include a lower cost of living, the chance to work for a dream company or an opportunity for a simpler lifestyle.
“Moving families have to think about the welfare of the whole family, and to be sure that any potential move is not just financially beneficial and career enhancing, but also beneficial to the well-being of partners, and existing or potential children,” says Dr. Medway.
Respondents to the survey were selected from Research Now’s consumer panel to reflect a general distribution of the consumer population, ages 18 years and older. Respondents did not know that Mayflower sponsored the survey.
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