More high-earning workers plan to find new jobs, and soon

As the labor market strengthens, qualified candidates are realizing just how valuable their skill sets are.

About two-thirds of employees making six-figure salaries see themselves working at a different company within just six months, according to a new report from job search site Ladders, which surveyed 56,000 high-earning candidates.

That continues a trend documented throughout recent months, which showed workers were quitting their jobs at the highest rate since 2001.

This pattern reflects optimism among American workers that they can find better positions, likely with more desirable salaries or enhanced benefits. The unemployment rate sits at 3.7 percent – the lowest level since 1969.

Despite the tendency to look for new opportunities, not many employees want to uproot their lives for a new job.

Only 39 percent of respondents told Ladders they would move out of state for an extra $10,000 in pay, doubling down on a trend that permeated the labor force in 2017, when only 3.5 million Americans relocated for work – down 10 percent from 2015.

In fact, location matters a lot. When choosing where to live, the majority of respondents said “proximity to work” was the most important factor – likely influencing where potential candidates choose to take a job in the first place. For example, seventy-one percent of respondents in Boston said they would not relocate compared with about 37 percent in Toledo, Ohio.

Those workers with less than five years of experience under their belt were the least resistant to uprooting themselves for jobs.

This has posed a problem for corporations, which are paying millions to lure executives to new locations around the country – with the average pay package totaling $144,633.

And while wages are still rising more modestly than experts might expect given the labor market conditions, companies are increasing benefits such as paid vacation time and bonuses. The U.S. Labor Department said last month that the cost of benefits rose 3 percent in June.