Epithelial tissue can transition from a jammed, solid-like, quiescent phase to an unjammed, fluid-like, migratory phase, but the underlying molecular events of the unjamming transition (UJT) remain largely unexplored. Using primary human bronchial epithelial cells (HBECs) and one well-defined trigger of the UJT, compression mimicking the mechanical effects of bronchoconstriction, here, we combine RNA sequencing data with protein-protein interaction networks to provide the first genome-wide analysis of the UJT. Our results show that compression induces an early transcriptional activation of the membrane and actomyosin network and a delayed activation of the extracellular matrix (ECM) and cell-matrix networks. This response is associated with a signaling cascade that promotes actin polymerization and cellular motility through the coordinated interplay of downstream pathways including ERK, JNK, integrin signaling, and energy metabolism. Moreover, in nonasthmatic versus asthmatic HBECs, common genomic patterns associated with ECM remodeling suggest a molecular connection between airway remodeling, bronchoconstriction, and the UJT.