Facing a tough job market, immigrants are returning home around the world, reversing historic migration patterns and giving up on income that once fed their families, the Wall Street Journal reports. With construction workers going back to Mexico and domestic servants to the Philippines, wealthy nations are also bound to feel the pinch, losing low-cost labor and valued home-buyers, analysts say.
Most evidence of the change is anecdotal, but Mexican emigration to the US is down 13% this year and England has seen Eastern European immigration fall 55%. Watchers are split on whether the trend will outlast the global recession, but at least one analyst says most immigrants are loathe to leave their adopted homes. “What we're seeing is the normal outflow,” the researcher said, coupled with “a huge drop-off in the inflow.”