Monday, 3 August 2009

JAMAICA: Bumpy ride after remittance bonaza

Dennis Morrison, Contributor

As we enter the peak of the traditional summer traffic of returning non-resident Jamaicans, families across the island are no doubt excited to welcome home their relatives for the Emancipation and Independence festivities. The overflow in the immigration and customs halls at both our airports, but especially at the Norman Manley International, is a visible reminder of the substantial numbers who make the trip at this time of year. Usually, about 30 per cent of the annual traffic of returning Jamaicans come home in the July-August period, putting it ahead of the 25 per cent who visit during the Christmas season.

With unemployment rising in the USA, Canada and the UK where the vast majority of our overseas relatives reside, it is not surprising that the traffic in July was running five per cent or so behind last year. The flow of remittances, another powerful indicator of the close ties between the two Jamaicas, is even more seriously affected, declining by 16.7 per cent, or US$141.5 million in the January to May period. Contrary to earlier predictions, overseas Jamaicans have not been immune from the recession, losing jobs and wealth, and thus, have had to cut back on money transfers to relatives here. Read more

1 comment:

  1. Very interesting blog. It seems similar story as Dominica. You may be interested in this book recently published which tackles some of the issues of return migration to Dominica