Mexican remittances were $25 billion in 2006

The Houston Chronicle reports, “More cash flows home, remittances from Mexicans working abroad reach $25 billion.”
Mexico City — Mexicans working abroad sent home a record $25 billion last year, most of it from the United States, according to a study released Friday. The estimated figure represents a 25 percent increase over 2005 and a nearly 80 percent surge since 2003, the Inter-American Development Bank, or IDB, said in its report. Remittances have surpassed tourism as Mexico’s second-largest source of foreign revenue, helping support more than 4 million Mexican families, said the Washington-based bank, which lends to 26 member countries in Latin America and the Caribbean. Oil is Mexico’s largest foreign revenue producer.
The country’s reliance on remittances from abroad is not necessarily a good thing, the bank said. ‘No one should celebrate that Mexico is the largest remittances market in the world,’ it said. ‘It means the domestic economy is simply not generating enough jobs.’
Indeed, more than half of the Mexican emigrants surveyed in another recent study by the bank said they were unemployed before leaving for the U.S. Those who held jobs in Mexico earned an average of about $150 a month. By contrast, more than half found jobs within a month of arriving in the U.S., where they earned an average monthly salary of $900.
The bank made no distinction between Mexicans who were in the U.S. legally or illegally.
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