More Americans Are Moving – Is It a Sign of Better Times?

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A moving company reported a spike in relocations during 2010. They're just not sure whether it means the economy is rebounding or not.

In August, we reported that nearly half of all working Americans were willing to move – for a variety of reasons, ranging from better pay to better schools. Since then, some of them have apparently moved, according to a new survey from Atlas Van Lines.

In 2010, more than 74,500 households relocated in the U.S. and Canada.  In 2009, Atlas counted just over 71,400.  (Note that these are only the people who moved using Atlas Van Lines, not every American who moved. Thirty-seven million Americans changed houses in 2009.)

Why the 4 percent bump? Atlas said it could be “a possible sign that the economy is improving.” When unemployment is high, people can’t afford to move, and there are no jobs to move for, anyway.

But more important – at least in economic terms – is where all these people are moving to and from. Atlas, which has been conducting its moving survey since 1993, says it’s a good indicator of not only the national economy, but also the economy state by state…

“For some states, outbound moves were high. Due to high unemployment, residents of the Rust Belt continue to relocate elsewhere. States adjacent to the Rust Belt saw a great increase in the number of inbound moves.”

So, what other states did we flee last year? Delaware, Illinois, Missouri, New Jersey, Ohio, and Wyoming topped the list. And where did they go? Attracting the most movers was Hawaii, Kentucky, Maryland, and Texas – with Washington, D.C., topping the list.

For tips on how to make your next move fast, cheap, and stress-free, be sure to read these related stories from Money Talks News:

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