🦜 PerchPulse - The USA Market Update December 2022 🦜

A warm welcome to the December issue of PerchPeek’s US Market Monthly update!

Here’s where you’ll find the hottest updates around employee relocation and international talent strategy, insights from our experts on housing and cost-of-living news affecting your staff, the latest trends in global mobility, and tips and tricks on ways to support your teams.

A fly-by summary

  • How you can use the new surgeon general framework on mental health support to develop employee programs
  • Home price growth slowing could mean things get extra tough for hopeful renters: how to support your international staff
  • 10 US cities that will pay workers to relocate there: how this can help your people strategy
  • Cost of living changes for 2023: states raising minimum wage, NYC public transit prices to increase, and electricity prices forecasted to rise while inflation predicted to fall
  • PerchPeek’s 2022 in numbers: From rental market stats to our biggest destinations, here’s what we’ve learned in 2022, and how this could help you support your team!

Support your talent: New business framework launched for mental health

The importance of mental health support in the workplace is increasingly being recognised, and rightly so when you consider that 76% of US workers reported at least one symptom of a mental health condition this year, up from 59% just two years ago.

Now for the first time, the US Surgeon General has released a framework for companies to promote and protect employees’ mental health. The report provides a full roadmap for employers with plenty of actionable recommendations, and can be found at hhs.gov.

The report outlines five essential human needs for robust mental health:

  • Protection from harm - conditions for physical and psychological safety
  • Connection and community - positive social interactions and relationships
  • Work-life harmony - providing the autonomy and flexibility to reach a good balance
  • Mattering at work - giving employees purpose, to feel respected and valued
  • Opportunity for growth - helping employees achieve goals and progress their careers

This is a significant step as it acknowledges that companies play a crucial role in impacting their employees’ mental health, and provides clear guidance on mental health support best practice.

For People teams, it can be difficult to know where to start when it comes to implementing new mental health support policies, or to know if your standards are in line with other companies. This framework will therefore act as an invaluable resource, enabling People teams to devise support plans that complement these recognised principles from the surgeon general.

Home-finding: Soaring mortgage rates mean demand for house-buying is cooling, impacting renters - how to support your team

The US house-buying market, like in much of the rest of the world, has been pretty crazy over the last few years, and its fluctuations can easily affect your staff, even those not looking to buy a place! While US house prices have reached record highs in recent years, with annual house price growth peaking at +21% year-over-year in April, recent reports show this growth is cooling.

Rising interest rates mean the number of mortgage applications being made is declining, having a knock-on effect on prices. This trend is most evident in the west of the country, though it’s not limited to this region alone. It’s particularly noticeable in expensive markets such as Seattle and the wider Washington state, and San Jose. Other markets affected include Austin and Phoenix.

It’s worth noting the effects that potential stagnation in the buying market could have on renters. If fewer properties are being purchased, this adds to the pressure already being seen in the rental market, especially in major cities, where demand is massively outstripping supply.

To support employees looking for a home, it’s best to keep aware of these challenges and make allowances, like reviewing relocation packages to make sure movers have the financial freedom to stay in temporary accommodation for as long as they need. Plus, offering flexibility to attend viewings during work hours is super helpful - being first in the queue makes a big difference!

Talent strategy: 10 US cities that will pay workers to relocate there

As the cost of living soars, particularly in the most populous US cities such as New York and Los Angeles, employees may be considering moving somewhere cheaper - an option that’s been opened up considerably thanks to the boom of remote working and digital nomadism.

A number of US cities are taking advantage of this trend by offering financial incentives to encourage workers to relocate to their area and boost the local economy. These include:

  • Tulsa, Oklahoma - population 411k; offering $10,000 to new residents
  • New Haven, Connecticut - population 135k; offering $10,000
  • Topeka, Kansas - population 126k; offering $10,000 - $15,000
  • Bentonville, Arkansas (the home of Walmart) - population 57k; offering $10,000
  • West Lafayette, Indiana - population 45k; offering $1,000 - $5,000
  • Morgantown, West Virginia - population 29k; offering $12,000
  • North Platte, Nebraska - population 23k; offering $5,000
  • Newton, Iowa - population 16k; offering $10,000 to home-buyers
  • Bemidji, Minnesota - population 15k; offering $2,500
  • Lincoln, Kansas - population 1.1k; offering free land (14,000 to 35,000 square feet)

As well as the lower cost of living, some employees may prefer living in a smaller, close-knit environment. For businesses, such incentives can work in tandem with relocation packages, cutting the HR budget while still ensuring an optimal relocation experience.

These incentive programmes may also help inform strategy when investigating potential new office locations, or considering implementing a remote working policy.

Cost of living: States raising minimum wage, energy bill and inflation forecasts, and other key updates affecting your employees in 2023

It’s been a difficult time for everyone towards the end of 2022, with soaring inflation causing the cost of living to rise. As our clocks tick over to the new year, we’ll see changes to a number of everyday costs. While many are set to increase, there are a few positive points on the horizon!

Here’s our roundup of a number of changes that may have an impact on your teams:

  • Over 25 states are raising the minimum wage in 2023, including California ($15 to $15.50), New York ($13.20 to $14.20 / $15 in NYC) and Washington ($14.49 to $15.74)
  • New York City: The MTA will raise transport ticket prices by 5.5% in 2023; this works out to a one-way ticket cost of $2.90 versus the current $2.75
  • Seattle: As of July 1, 2023, vehicle license fees will increase by $10 to $50. This will affect anyone looking to register a car or other vehicle in the city.
  • The US Energy Information Administration (EIA) forecasts that average electricity prices for US residences will rise to 15.33 cents/kWh in 2023, versus 15 cents/kWh in 2022
  • Following a year where inflation is risen dramatically, we’re happy to report that the US Treasury Secretary predicts a substantial reduction in US inflation in 2023

This is how things stand right now, but it’s harder to predict how the cost of living will fluctuate later in 2023 as a result of macro trends. Our advice is to keep on top of such developments and review compensation packages regularly to keep them in line with current living costs, so your teams feel supported through these challenging price increases.

Talent strategy: PerchPeek’s international talent learnings from our 2022 experience in numbers

This year we’ve seen a lot of developments in international talent strategy. Diving into the data, here’s what we’ve learned from the many moves we’ve managed in 2022:

  • With the rise of tech-based solutions and flexible budget options, HR teams can use relocation to access talent at all levels, no longer just executives. In 2022 we’ve helped over 2,250 people start their relocation journey to 28 countries around the world.
  • The US has a massive draw and equally massive demand for both domestic and international talent - it is our second biggest relocation destination in terms of mover volume. Nearly 75% of our US relocators moved from other parts of the country.
  • Rental markets remain extremely competitive. It varies based on a mover’s budget, destination and other needs, but on average in New York City movers need to make five enquiries for every one property viewing. Perseverance and resilience on the part of the mover are key, and HR can support by offering employees flexibility and patience.
  • With a tricky rental market and complex processes to follow, movers have a lot of questions and are super grateful for relocation advice. In our app, our relocation experts exchange an average of 500 instant messages with each mover!
  • Relocation support can be a crucial factor in employees deciding to take a job, and we love to see the value it delivers for every mover. We’re so proud to be rated 4.9 out of 5 stars on Trustpilot from over 300 reviews - we can’t wait to build on this in 2023!

We hope you enjoyed this month’s update, and wish you a happy and restful holiday season.

If you ever have any feedback, comments or questions about what's happening in your location, feel free to reach out via the form below!

Thanks for reading, and see you in the new year!

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