A quarter of US workers are currently looking for new roles, according to a report by Robert Half, and an additional 24% plan to start searching by the end of the year.

Top among those most likely to make a career move in the remainder of the year are Gen Z professionals, 74%; technology professionals, 64%; and working parents, 63%.

“The takeaway for employers, especially those facing recruiting challenges, is that skilled workers are willing to make a move for the right opportunity,” Dawn Fay, operational president of Robert Half, said in a press release.

The report found that contract work has become a viable route for many professionals; four in 10 workers said they are open to pursuing contract roles. Workers exploring other employment opportunities are motivated by a higher salary, better benefits and perks and remote work options, according to the report.

The survey was developed by Robert Half and conducted by an independent research firm from May 4 to May 30. It included responses from more than 2,500 workers across the US.

Many high-income earners are moving in droves out west — but not to California.

Idaho and Montana, as well as Florida, are the states with the fastest population-adjusted growth rates of high-earning households, defined as having a $200,000 adjusted gross income, according to financial technology company SmartAsset. This data examined tax filers in each state between 2020 and 2021.

In 2021, 8.68 million tax returns revealed annual earnings above $200,000, a slight jump from 2020, suggesting that large movements between states could help or hurt a state's finances.

Florida far surpassed any other state in raw numbers with a net migration of over 27,500, meaning over 40,000 high-earners moved into Florida while just around 12,500 left. Florida is one of just nine states without an income tax, and the weather and business opportunities have been major pulls for Americans. According to recent US Census Bureau data, nearly 675,000 people moved to Florida in 2021, more than any other state.

Idaho has seen a particularly accelerated rate of high-earners moving to cities such as Boise and Meridian. Idaho was ranked as third in US News' Best States Ranking, which looks into economy, education, and healthcare. Idaho's low taxes, strong employment and GDP growth, and regulatory environment have pulled in both entrepreneurs and leaders in agriculture, manufacturing, and technology.

Texas had the second-highest total net migration with around 9,000, followed by North Carolina at over 5,400. Many are moving to the Southeast, including to South Carolina, Tennessee, and Georgia, due to factors such as climate and growing job markets, as well as lingering impacts of the pandemic.

California and New York both had major outflows. California had a net migration loss of over 27,300 high-earners, while New York had a loss of nearly 20,000. Compared to last year, California's net outflow of high-earners grew by 40%.

Illinois, Massachusetts, and New Jersey also had major net outflows, the latter two of which have over 10% of tax filers earning more than $200,000 per year. Washington, DC, as a percentage of all filers, lost high-earners at a faster rate than any state.

This data comes as the US economy is surging, as shown by Thursday's  — Bureau of Economic Analysis report announcing that real GDP in the second quarter grew at an annualized rate of 2.4%, exceeding first-quarter GDP growth. The last few months have been strong for new business creation, according to the Economic Innovation Group, which reported that for the first half of 2023, applications to start a business likely to hire employees grew 7% year-over-year. Business owners have also seen improvements in sales and profit margins during the quarter.

With factory construction booming across the country, many are moving to the Southeast and West where manufacturing construction has been quite strong, driven by the CHIPS Act and Inflation Reduction Act.

Though California and New York may be losing some of their top earners, cities such as Boise, Bozeman, or Billings may be the new destinations for high-earning Americans.

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