Where jobs, and homeowners, are moving across the US


The dynamics of the U.S. workforce and the housing market are intricately entwined. Local employment trends have significant implications for a city’s real estate market, not to mention the economic competition between states and metro areas that’s always evolving. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Americans now change jobs every four years on average.

To get a better pulse on the relationship between job growth, domestic migration and housing, the National Association of Realtors created interactive graphics on these topics to allow for easy visualization of the forces at work. NAR combined its own local market data with insights from LinkedIn Workforce Reports, monthly summaries of where job seekers are moving based on the professional social network’s data.

Nationally, Denver claimed the top spot for the most incoming workers of any other major U.S. city. Based on data from LinkedIn’s collection of more than 149 million professional profiles, 706,000 job seekers moved to Denver in just the last 12 months. The majority of that group, nearly 96,000, came from Chicago, while significant numbers also migrated from New York City and San Francisco.

The number of workers leaving Denver is a fraction of the number of incoming job seekers reported by LinkedIn. That helps explain why NAR market statistics for the city paint a picture of very high housing demand amid low supply. Denver’s most recent median home price stood at $441,500, an 11.5 percent increase from last year, with listings spending just 31 days on the market on average. A Denver household earning $100,000 per year can afford just 42.5 percent of listings on the market today.

The situation in Atlanta was similar in some ways, with relatively high inflows reported by LinkedIn user metrics. New York City was the biggest source of new workers in Atlanta over the last year, with some 43,800 LinkedIn users having changed their location from New York City to Atlanta in that time. Outflows were much lower, with fewer than 16,000 workers leaving Atlanta for San Francisco, Seattle or Denver. Despite high inflows of professionals, Atlanta home prices remained relatively affordable at a median of $204,500, but it is up 11.9 percent. A household with an annual income of $100,000 would be able to afford more than half of active listings in Atlanta, but a $125,000 annual income would put nearly three-quarters of them in reach. Atlanta appears to be building in line with demand, with a new single-family housing permit issued for every three new jobs in the area.

Use the interactive graphics from NAR to see how job migration is impacting other major U.S. cities in terms of home prices and market activity.

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