SOURCE: Kelly Services

Kelly Services

March 14, 2011 19:12 ET

U.S. Workers Willing to Move for the Right Job, Kelly Global Workforce Index™ Finds

TROY, MI--(Marketwire - March 14, 2011) - Two-thirds of American respondents would be willing to move for the right job, with many even prepared to relocate to another country or continent in order to secure their preferred position, according to the latest survey from workforce solutions leader, Kelly Services® (NASDAQ: KELYA) (NASDAQ: KELYB).

By far the most mobile workers are among Gen Y (aged 18-29) who are more footloose than their Gen X (aged 30-47) and baby boomer (aged 48-65) counterparts, including being more willing to travel across the globe for the right job.

The findings are part of the Kelly Global Workforce Index, which obtained the views of approximately 97,000 people worldwide, including more than 19,000 in the United States.

The survey, conducted from October 2010 through January 2011, also reveals a significant number of people working in unconventional arrangements, involving long or unusual hours, multiple jobs, living away from home or excessive travel.

"Across the board, we see that many individuals are ready to move where the work is located, rather than waiting for the work to come to them," Kelly Services Executive Vice President and General Manager Mike Webster says. "Increasingly, we are experiencing the growth of a workforce that is flexible and willing to bridge cultural and language differences that once served as a barrier to work mobility."

A total of 66 percent of U.S. respondents say they are prepared to move for the right job, while 34 percent are not. Of those prepared to move, the largest share (25 percent) are only willing to move to another city or town. But 22 percent are willing to relocate to another state, and 12 percent to another country or continent.

By far the most desirable destination for globetrotting U.S. job-seekers is Europe, nominated by 30 percent, well ahead of Asia Pacific (5 percent), Africa (2 percent) and Middle East (2 percent).

Results of the survey in the United States show:

  • 19 percent of Gen Y are prepared to travel abroad for the right job, compared with 13 percent of Gen X and 9 percent of baby boomers. Men are also more willing to move than women.
  • Among various industry sectors, those working in oil/gas, and engineering are the most prepared to shift countries for work (24 and 22 percent, respectively).
  • The overwhelming factor preventing people from moving abroad for a job is family and friends, cited by 55 percent of respondents, followed by cost of moving (25 percent), language barriers (11 percent), and cultural differences (2 percent).
  • The desire to move to a different continent is driven by the experience rather than setting up permanent residence, with almost three-quarters (71 percent) prepared to stay for three years or less.
  • More than a quarter (27 percent) are working in what they consider unconventional arrangements. Of these, the most common grievance is unusual hours, affecting 30 percent, followed by multiple jobs (23 percent), long hours (22 percent), and living away from home, and excessive travel (both 7 percent).
  • More than half (52 percent) of those working in unconventional arrangements believe they can only continue doing so for up to one year. However, more than a quarter (26 percent) say they can sustain it indefinitely.

"There are many skills that are becoming truly global in nature, and can be applied in any part of the world, particularly in sectors such as engineering, science, finance and health. For many, the opportunity to relocate can be a rewarding personal experience, as well as a significant career advantage," Webster concludes.

For more information about these survey results and other key global findings, please visit the Kelly Global Workforce Index.

About the Kelly Global Workforce Index™
The Kelly Global Workforce Index is an annual survey revealing opinions about work and the workplace from a generational viewpoint. Approximately 97,000 people from the Americas, APAC and EMEA responded to the 2011 survey with results published on a quarterly basis. Analysis of the 2011 data was conducted by Echo Research. Kelly Services was the recipient of a MarCom Platinum Award in 2010 and a Gold Award in 2009 for the Kelly Global Workforce Index in the Research/Study category.

About Kelly Services®
Kelly Services, Inc. (NASDAQ: KELYA) (NASDAQ: KELYB) is a leader in providing workforce solutions. Kelly® offers a comprehensive array of outsourcing and consulting services as well as world-class staffing on a temporary, temporary-to-hire and direct-hire basis. Serving clients around the globe, Kelly provides employment to more than 530,000 employees annually. Revenue in 2010 was $5 billion. Visit www.kellyservices.com and connect with us on Facebook, LinkedIn, & Twitter.

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