As 2012 ushers in an improving, but still highly competitive job market, more workers may be looking beyond their own backyard for employment options. Forty-four percent of workers said they would be willing to relocate for a career opportunity, according to a nationwide study by CareerBuilder. Of workers who were laid off in the last year and found new jobs, 20% relocated to a new city or state.

At the same time, employers struggling to find workers for skilled positions said they are willing to pay to bring talent to their locations. Thirty-two percent reported they would be willing to pay to relocate new employees in 2012. Nineteen percent would be willing to pay a smaller first year salary in order to giving a signing bonus to relocate an employee.

"One of the key trends we saw coming out of the recession is the movement of labor in and out of markets across the U.S.," says Matt Ferguson, CEO of CareerBuilder.  "Workers have had to expand their job search geographically and employers in need of hard-to-find, skilled talent have had to recruit across state lines."

While employers will move current staff and new hires for a wide variety of positions, the top areas for which they are most likely to pay to relocate employees are tied to technology and revenue-generation with 30% of engineering employers, 23% of information technology employers and 21% of business development employers.

The vast majority of workers who relocated in the last year, 77%, reported they were happy with the move and didn't regret the decision. Of those workers who relocated in the last year, 41% said their family didn't relocate with them and they have to travel to see them. Top challenges associated with relocating included cost of living (26%), more stress on family unit (24%) and a difficulty of making new friends (18%).

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