ALEXANDRIA, Va. -- New Census Bureau figures showing Americans moved last year at the lowest rate in 40 years is consistent with industry data compiled by the American Moving & Storage Association (AMSA), which also finds the trend continuing into 2009.
AMSA’s figures show household goods shipments down by nearly 20 percent during the first quarter of this year, continuing the downward trend tracked by the non-profit trade association since 2005 when the nation’s home mortgage crisis began to build.
“There’s no doubt that many Americans -- and as a result, our members -- have been hard-hit by a triple-whammy,” according to Linda Bauer Darr, AMSA president & CEO. “A virtual halt in new home construction, followed by a tightening of the mortgage market, is still being felt and is likely to continue well into 2009. In addition, the scarcity of employment nationally removes a traditional reason to relocate -- finding a better job.”
Data from the Census Bureau’s “Geographical Mobility: 2008” showed the national mover rate declined from 13.2 percent in 2007 to 11.9 percent in 2008 — the lowest since the bureau began tracking the data in 1948.
“These numbers underscore not only the breadth of the recession, but also how seriously it has affected our industry and continues to do so,” Darr added. “We again call on Congress to focus efforts on revitalizing the housing market, providing relief to struggling small businesses, and investing in America’s crumbling transportation infrastructure to help alleviate the impact of the recession on thousands of movers across the country.
“When the housing market begins to recover with the economy, our members must be ready to meet what we know will be a pent-up demand for relocation services. And whenever they’re ready, consumers looking for quality movers at any point should always be sure to look for the new ProMover logo to insure they’ve hired a professional, reputable company.”
AMSA’s 2009 statistics are contained in the association’s new quarterly data publication, Industry Trends, which offers the most comprehensive look at the $16.5 billion moving and storage industry, providing an overview of current trends and business activity and offering data on shipment volume, both aggregate and regional. Most data is based on information submitted confidentially to AMSA by its members. For ordering information, visit www.promover.org/industry_trends.