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February 21, 2003
More Firms Let Workers Shoulder Relocation Costs
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economic downturn has many firms limiting their programs to pay for employee relocation expenses, the Christian Science Monitor reports.

"Fewer companies are willing to say 'do whatever it takes to get this person here.' The economic downturn is hitting every area," says John Challenger, CEO of Challenger, Gray, & Christmas, an outplacement firm in Chicago. "We have moved into an era of co-pays, which means that employees are expected to pick up some, if not all, of the moving expenses."

The Monitor reports that a recent study from the Employee Relocation Council found the cost to relocate a new hire who owns a home is over $49,000, and over $14,000 for one who rents.

Workers recall a time not too long ago when employers would offer extensive moving perks. While high-priced moves for lower- and mid-level employees have become far less than common, firms are still willing to pick up the costs of relocation for their top executives, Challenger tells the Monitor.

If a worker isn’t a top executive, her new employer might only pay for the cost of a moving van, according to the Monitor. Still, some firms do continue to pay for all moving costs, the newspaper notes.

There remains room for new hires to negotiate better moving perks with their employers, though.

“There is always wiggle room,” Challenger tells the Monitor. “Make sure you have the job offer before you start to negotiate. Companies are more reluctant to move someone from out of town when they know they can find someone locally.”


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