🦜 PerchPulse - USA Market Update September 2022 🦜

PerchPulse - USA Market Update September 2022 

The latest and most relevant info on talent, immigration, business, and cost of living in the US, to help HR leaders stay close to events and support their people strategy.

A big feathery welcome!

Hello and welcome to PerchPeek's September 2022 USA Market Update! 

PerchPeek’s relocation specialists are here to offer insight into top mobility challenges and industry trends. We’re always keeping up with the latest international market trends that matter most to HR leaders, their teams, and their employees, helping them move and support their employees globally. Each month, we curate a monthly newsletter that includes our research and insights to better assist YOU, the HR pros!

Fly-by summary:

  • Americans are still feeling the effects of the pandemic; many are still out of work due to the lingering symptoms of long COVID. 
  • A slowdown in consumer spending and business investment stems from interest rate hikes as the central bank seeks to calm record levels of inflation.
  • Goodbye New York and California! Americans are migrating south for cheaper rental costs, seeking refuge in the warmer climates of South Carolina and Arizona.
  • Consumer spending is down as many cope with unemployment and rising rent.

Talent & Migration

Long COVID Responsible for a Third of Unfilled Jobs in the U.S.

The latest data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows there are over 10 million unfilled jobs in the U.S.

The culprit for a large number of these vacancies? It may be long COVID, according to a recent Brookings Institute report.

In fact, the report estimates that 2 to 4 million of those currently out of work are suffering from symptoms of long COVID.

Jobs lost to long COVID could make up about a third of the country's current labor shortage.

That's almost as high as the number of Americans who quit their jobs each month between April and June amid the Great Resignation; about 4.3 million quit in May and April, while 4.2 million quit their jobs in June.

U.S. Jobless Claims Fall For Second Week, Sign of Labor Strength

Despite the country's many unfilled jobs, U.S. unemployment insurance applications continue to fall, suggesting employers are holding on to workers despite growing economic uncertainty. 

In fact, initial unemployment claims decreased by 2,000 to 243,000 in the third week of August. Economists expect job openings to remain elevated, indicating resilient demand for labor, warranting strong policy responses to keep inflation in check.

Have Employees Who Are Looking To Migrate? Americans Are Flocking to These States

The state that you're based in can often impact your employee and people strategy, and in different ways than before the pandemic; NYC and California no longer remain the best places to attract talent, especially with so many people now working from home.

Sunny Florida seems to be the hot spot for Americans these days. According to U.S. Census data, there are five states where more Americans moved into than out of so far this year. Four of these five states are located in the southern U.S., and all of them feature average yearly temperatures above the national average.

The numbers below indicate how many more Americans moved into the state than out. 

  • Florida: 116,284 
  • Texas: 101,805 
  • Arizona: 94,128 
  • North Carolina: 79,734 
  • South Carolina: 45,247 

Conversely, Americans are ditching the Northeast and California at disproportionate rates. Illinois has also seen a dramatic decline in the number of inbound residents. The below numbers indicate how many more Americans moved OUT of the state than in. 

  • New York: 203,567 
  • California: 190,122 
  • Illinois: 98,413 
  • New Jersey: 71,475 
  • Massachusetts: 34,975

The cost of living may have something to do with these shifts as we see more Americans moving to states where it's more affordable to live and work. H.R. leaders must be vigilant regarding living costs and how this can affect talent location.

Housing & Cost of Living

Food Prices and Rent Flying High Right Alongside Inflation

Rental prices swelled during the first half of 2022, hitting a national average of nearly $2,500 a month for single-family homes – that's more than a 13% increase compared to the same period in 2021. These costs have forced many younger people to continue to live with their parents, while others are threatened with eviction and potential homelessness.

The below U.S. real estate markets saw the highest median single-family monthly rents during the first half of 2022:

  1. Los Angeles; Long Beach, California; Anaheim, California: $4,664
  2. San Diego; Carlsbad, California: $4,617
  3. Bridgeport, Connecticut; Stamford, Connecticut; Norwalk, Connecticut: $4,352
  4. San Jose, California; Sunnyvale, California; Santa Clara, California: $4,294
  5. Oxnard, California; Thousand Oaks, California; Ventura, California: $4,259

Conversely, these U.S. real estate markets saw the cheapest median single-family monthly rents during the first half of 2022.

1. Youngstown, Ohio; Warren, Ohio; Boardman, Ohio: $861

2. Madison, Wisconsin: $1,000

3. Little Rock, Arkansas; North Little Rock, Arkansas; Conway, Arkansas: $1,153

4. Flint, Michigan: $1,243

5. Davenport, Iowa; Moline, Illinois; Rock Island, Illinois: $1,313

Unfortunately, rent isn't the only financial strain on Americans these days. Gas and food remain equally expensive. The cost of food has climbed nearly 11% from last year, the most considerable increase since 1979, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. The cost of gas has also remained 44 percent higher than a year ago. The national average for a gallon of gas is hovering near $4, compared to $3.18 in 2021.

H.R. leaders who are moving employees need to be aware of these factors Americans must consider when relocating for work; will the salary be enough to cover the rising living costs? According to a new LendingClub report, more than half of Americans (59%) said they lived paycheck to paycheck, down from 61% in June but still higher than a year ago.

Business & Economy

Business Activity and Consumer Spending Plummet

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce reports nearly 7 in 10 small businesses have raised their prices to cope with inflation, and 65% of small business respondents in a Goldman Sachs study said rising input costs have forced them to raise the price of goods and services this year, with almost 80% saying the economy has worsened over the past three months.

Unrelenting inflation has spoiled consumers' ability to spend. To ease inflation's rise, the Federal Reserve is raising interest rates. Anna Wong, the chief US economist at Bloomberg Economics, expects the Fed will have to raise rates as high as 5% to rid the U.S. of its inflation problem. 

There is some good news, though! For example, prices for critical raw materials (think: oil, copper, and wheat) have dipped in recent weeks, coming up to the end of August, taking pressure off the cost of manufactured goods and food. Plus, moving these materials around is getting cheaper as supply chains still struggle to recover from the pandemic.


Juggling work/life balance is hard enough when the economy is good, but it can feel nearly impossible when the cost of living is through the roof and interest rates are rising. The best H.R. leaders must stay informed on these issues, as the current state of the economy will surely bring pain to households and businesses.

As the government and Federal Reserve aim to curtail inflation, H.R. teams and employers should focus on helping their employees. Because if employees are unhappy, the business will ultimately suffer. Investing in your employees, both financially and emotionally, is critical. Creating an engaging and rewarding environment and, if possible, providing financial support to help combat inflating costs will be essential in maintaining workers' morale. 

‍Thanks for reading! See you next month!

Questions About Moving Employees or What We Do At PerchPeek?

No matter where your business is located, or how many employees you have to move, the relocation experts at PerchPeek are standing by at all times to answer any and all questions that you may have about moving and taking care of your most important business asset, your team! Feel free to click here to reach out for a call with us or book a demo to see exactly how PerchPeek can work for you and your teams!


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