Mexico is expected to lose more than 700,000 jobs this year due to a slumping economy that may decline as much as 7.5%. Almost half of the country’s population lives in poverty, and yet, it is managing to reverse a trend of money that has traditionally flowed from north (the United States) to south.
While no statistics are yet available, plenty of anecdotal information suggests an increasing number of Mexican immigrants in the U.S. are now receiving money from relatives in Mexico, instead of sending it. Unemployment is so bad in migrant communities in the U.S. Southwest that some families south of the border are hurting less than those they know in the United States, causing them to wire whatever money they can.
“It’s something that’s surprising, a symptom of the economic crisis,” Martín Zuvire Lucas, who heads a network of community banks in Oaxaca and other underserved Mexican states, told The New York Times. “We haven’t been able to measure it but we hear of more cases where money is going north.”
Officials at one small bank in Chiapas say they have noticed more money going towards the U.S. and less from it, which historically hasn’t been the case.