Atlantic Cities: Maybe Americans Aren't Moving Because They Don't Need To
The United States has long been a highly mobile population compared to Europe and other OECD countries. (I seem to recall Australia was high as well.) People used to migrate for better economic opportunities, partly because there were such significant differences between locations on wages and opportunties. Matthew O'Brien reports that interstate migration has dropped by half over the last two decades. Why? The regional differences in wages and opportunities are equalizing.
... It's not just jobs that are the same across states. Wages are too. Kaplan and Schulhoffer-Wohl find there's been less variance between states among industry-specific average wages. In other words, there's less reason to move for work. That's even more true when it comes to moving to find out if you want to move, which isn't as tautological as it sounds. Before the age of cheap travel and Facebook, nomadic twentysomethings were more likely to move somewhere to find out if they wanted to live there. That's not to say that doesn't happen now, just not as much -- there are fewer serial movers nowadays.