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Going to work in another city: who is willing to do so and why?

Sergi Vidal, Centre d’Estudis Demogràfics, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona
Winning article of the Call to support social research projects based on the conducting of surveys, 2019.

The willingness of workers – whether they are in a job or are seeking one – to leave the area or region where they live depends largely on their degree of satisfaction with the life that they lead there and their relationship with it, as well as the opportunities that they perceive in relation to work and housing, both in the area where they currently live and in possible alternative destinations.
Key points
  • 1
       Four out of every ten workers in Spain – whether they are in employment or seeking work – would be willing to go to live somewhere else. Of this group, nearly half have concrete plans to change their place of residence within the next year.
  • 2
       Willingness for mobility is higher among young people, males, people who have not yet formed a family, those born abroad and those in a less stable employment situation or unemployed.
  • 3
       Work, income and professional career are the main reasons that lead people to consider their mobility, whereas family responsibilities and leaving family and friends behind are the most common obstacles.
  • 4
       To be acceptable, a job offer far from home requires better remuneration, contract stability and possibilities for professional promotion, as well as favourable job and housing markets at the destination.
Which destinations does the active population consider?
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The inter-regional mobility of workers is explained, above all, by their employment situation and professional career. Therefore, it is normal that, after the area where they live, most workers prefer a destination where they perceive that there are more and better opportunities.

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