- 28.5% of all applications were for jobs outside of the job seekers’ metro areas.
- Midwestern cities, including Columbus and Cleveland, Ohio, and Milwaukee and Indianapolis, had above-average rates of applicants looking outside the area.
- San Jose ranked among both the most desired cities to move to and to move away from. That could reflect elevated cost of living.
- Men were 3.3 percentage points more likely than women to apply for jobs outside their area.
- Workers with a master’s degree were 4.9 percentage points to apply for jobs outside their area, compared with workers of other education levels.
Workers are most willing to move for technology jobs in big, expensive coastal cities, a new study found. The only problem? Those aren’t the bulk of open jobs in the U.S. Firms in cities such as San Francisco, New York and San Jose are attracting the most out-of-area job candidates, according to a new study from recruiting site Glassdoor. And those applicants are most interested in engineering and other high-tech positions. That relatively narrow focus among potentially mobile workers is a problem when the national job market is as tight as it’s been in two decades, shown by the 3.9% unemployment rate last month. Separate Labor Department data shows the highest rate of job openings is in the Midwest—not the East or West Coast. And the health-care, hospitality and retail industries have among the most severe worker shortages, according to the government. “Job seekers seem to be to pay the price, in terms of moving and living costs, in order to land high salaries at tech companies,” said Glassdoor chief economist Andrew Chamberlain, who conducted the study. More than 12% of all applications going to firms outside of the job seeker’s own metro area went to a firm in the San Francisco area. In contrast, Midwestern cities St. Louis and Cincinnati received less than a half-percent of all out-of-town applications, as did hospitality hubs Las Vegas and Nashville. Glassdoor analyzed a sample of more than 668,000 online job applications started on the site during a one-week period in January, from job seekers located in the 40 largest U.S. metro areas. Engineer, developer and database administrator were among the job titles most likely to attract out-of-area applicants. Meanwhile, none of the top 25 job titles attracting movers were in the medical profession. There were 1.17 million health-care job opening in the U.S. in March, the most of any sector tracked by the Labor Department. Licensing requirements and state regulations may discourage some in the health sector from moving, Mr. Chamberlin said. Hospitality and retail jobs, such as bartender, sales representative and delivery driver, drew the least interest from out-of-area applicants. Those service-sector jobs don’t pay enough to attract many out-of-area applicants, and tend to be broadly available across the country, Mr. Chamberlin said. “For those jobs, if you run out of workers in your local area, it’s almost impossible to attract people to move.” Other findings from the study include: