An Indian State Sees Planeloads of Hardship as Its Expats Lose Their Jobs in the Gulf
More than two million citizens of the southern Indian state of Kerala work abroad, with nearly 90% finding employment in the Persian Gulf region. But a current India Knowledge at Wharton article, "Reverse Exodus: Gulf Workers Return to India, Bringing New Travails," cities official estimates that between 200,000 and 500,000 of them — particularly those working in Dubai — are likely to be laid off and return home by midyear. The Gulf economy has been suffering after the crash in oil prices. Dubai has been hit particularly hard because it was the region's key financial center, and finance has taken a backseat amid the global economic slowdown. Non-resident Keralites make up a significant percentage of the state's population, and they send back nearly $8 billion annually, more than double the state's tax revenues. According to experts, the impact of the reverse exodus — both economically and socially — could be devastating.