What are the top relocations trends for 2019? It’s a question those of us in the relocation industry hear frequently this time of year, and it’s a good one. The world of employee relocation is evolving at a rapid-fire pace, shaped by factors like technological advances, shifting economics and a changing workforce.

In fact, relocation statistics suggest that the market has matured faster in the last four years than in the last four decades. The world is changing! That’s why it makes sense to address relocation trends within the framework of the macro business and consumer trends that drive them. It’s these key factors that will most influence mobility trends in 2019 and beyond.

The War for Talent

As 2018 drew to a close, the U.S. unemployment rate stood at 3.9%, one of the lowest such rates in decades. It’s indicative of the skills gap that’s placing tremendous pressure on companies competing for talented hires. One proven way to attract top candidates: offer them standout benefits.

As a result, among relocation trends, you can expect to see is that of more creative, competitive relocation benefits. If a candidate is comparing two job offers that involve a move, a clearly-superior relocation package may tip the balance.

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Millennials & Gen Z in the Workforce

Because millennials now make up nearly 50% of the workforce, employers are retooling their policies, compensation and even culture to appeal to millennial sensibilities. One defining trait of this generation of digital natives—and those that will follow—is their high expectations of all things technological. And their mindset is contagious. Today, workers of every generation expect employers of choice to serve up the best that technology has to offer.

Just 10-12 years ago, there was no relocation management software. The employee’s “online portal” was their relocation consultant, who handled everything from his or her desk. One tech-fueled decade later, millennials expect an immediate, personalized user experience from their employer’s relocation platform.

So, it’s not just how competitive a company’s benefits are, it’s how well they’re delivered. When it comes to mobility trends 2019, this millennial mindset will help drive new technological innovations—while driving employers to relocation providers that offer a superior online experience.

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Consumer Demand: Instant Everything

Somewhere along the way, the consumer mentality has shifted largely away from planning ahead to—voilà!—instant gratification. We want what we want, and we want it now. Consider the popularity of services like Grubhub, Uber and Amazon Prime. If we can’t have it instantly, we at least need to track its progress in real time.

Consumers expect flexibility, options and delivery on demand. Your employees feel the same way. They won’t want to wait for business hours to coordinate their relocation. They want to login to their relocation software when they’re ready…organize their move on their terms…and track their progress as it unfolds. Yes, they want live support, but only when they ask for it.

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In short, another of the relocation trends you’ll see is the growing popularity of flexible, choice-driven relocation packages delivered via real-time technology, with live relocation specialists on call.

Taxed by Tax Reform

Unfortunately, The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 eliminated the moving expense deduction for the tax years 2018-2025. This deduction included the transport of household goods, storage and final travel to the new destination.

Because moving expense benefits are now taxable, it’s driven up relocation costs. As a result, another mobility trend 2019 is that an overwhelming majority of companies are grossing up their relocation benefits to cover employee tax liability.

The flip side is that they’re also searching for ways to offset these increased costs. So, another relocation trend to expect is the increased demand for better cost efficiencies—and relocation statistics suggest that means leveraging technology to drive the

  

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