By Les Christie@CNNMoneyJanuary 19, 2014: 2:45 PM ET
Why is everyone moving to Oregon?
NEW YORK (CNNMoney)
As the economy recovered last year, more international workers started calling the United States home.
Based on customer data from UniGroup Relocation, the international arm of the United Van Lines, 15% morepeople moved into the U.S. than left the country. That's up from 7% in 2012.
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Source: UniGroup Relocation
"It's a reflection of the strength of the economic recovery in the United States," said Richard McClure, UniGroup's CEO.
The number one place new residents are coming from: the United Kingdom. Up next: Germany, China, Australia and France.
The U.S. economy has rebounded faster than most of the Eurozone, spurring an inflow of workersfrom that region, explained Michael Stoll, economist and chair of the Department of Public Policy at UCLA. In addition, more U.S. companies are looking farther afield for highly skilled workers, he said.
UniGroup's customers tend to be people who are hired for well-paid jobs. "The traffic is almost entirely corporate management," said UniGroup spokeswoman Melissa Sullivan. "People don't relocate internationally unless it's for a job."
There are some exceptions, however. The company moved quite a few elderly Chinese to America last year, McClure said. Most of them were parents of Chinese businessmen working in the U.S., he said.
Last year was the first time in four years that more people from China moved to the U.S. than the other way around. Part of that was due to the slight cooling of the Chinese economy. Another factor, is that American firms operating in China are increasingly switching to local workers so there's less need to move American employees into the country, said McClure.