How Malayalees in Gulf overcame recession

How Malayalees in Gulf overcame recession

How Malayalees in Gulf overcame recession

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Well-known demographers Dr S Irudaya Rajan and Prof K C Zacharaiah say the number of Keralites who lost their jobs in the Gulf region to the global recession could be as low as 37,000 and not more than 63,000. The CDS had undertaken the study for the Department of Non-Resident Keralites Affairs of the Kerala government.

The study found that about 58 per cent of the emigrants remained in the same employment sector in 2009 as in 2008, while the remaining 42 per cent were seen to have moved to another sector of employment.

“Such transitions from one employment to another could be a major means by which a relatively large proportion (42 per cent) of the Kerala emigrants overcame the danger of job loss due to the global recession. This could be one reason why the unemployment rate among the emigrants remained relatively low,” the study says.

Remittance up

An interesting finding of the study conducted on a sample of 4,000 emigrants and 2,000 return emigrants is that household remittances at the state level had increased and not decreased during the recession months. The increase could, however, be partly explained by the fact that the remittances in 2009 are for a 12-month period which included some non-recession months.

Wealth at home

The recession could, in some cases, actually increase remittances, as some of the emigrants were returning home permanently, bringing home all their accumulated wealth.
In fact there were reports that the national level banks mobilised $ 2.7 billion during April-September 09 from NRIs against inflows worth $1.1 billion during the same period last year. The study, however, did not discount the fact that there were several households where remittances had decreased. About 6 per cent of the households that received remittances in 2008 did not receive any remittances in 2009.

The study found that even as emigrants returned, new emigrants and former emigrants (who had returned earlier), were going back to the Gulf and other countries. For them, the recession had not been much of a deterrent and did not stand in their way for re-emigration.