Bad Economy causes Decrease in Remittances

2 12 2009

As I was watching the news yesterday a story about how the economic problems we are facing in the US are causing additional problems overseas.  Many of the immigrants previously working here in the US were taking a portion of the money they made and sending it to their relatives who are living back in their homeland.  However, many no longer have enough money to help their relatives after the housing bubble busted.  Almost the entire economy was devastated causing many companies to lay off large portions of their workforce.  The major issues now being face in the US are unemployment and underemployment of the work force.  These issues are most prominent in industries that employ large concentrations of immigrant workers.

From our studies in Knowledge Activism class we know that better opportunities (especially in terms of work and salary) were a major cause of much of the immigration of people from the Philippines.  Also, it is very common for these Filipinos working in the US to be sending remittances to relatives in the Philippines.  So when one of these people loses their job or gets their work hours restricted to part time it not only effects them and their immediate family, but also any people they were sending money to.

In the news story, I watched on ABC News that can be found online at: http://abclocal.go.com/kgo/video?id=7148168, the reporter said that in 2008 there was $328 million sent overseas to support family and relatives.  The prediction was that in 2009 that number dropped $24 million to $304 million.  The $24 million decrease will have a dramatic effect on families all over the world that typically receive financial support from relatives working in the US.

-Bobbie

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