271,000 Mexicans slip into poverty in US

Last Updated: Sat, Jan 30, 2010 23:00 hrs

/EFE) About 271,000 Mexican immigrants have slipped into poverty in the US, Spanish banking giant BBVA said in a report.

It said between the fourth quarter of 2008 and the same period last year, 'the number of workers of Mexican origin with jobs decreased by approximately 560,000'.

For that reason, the number of workers of Mexican origin who are currently unemployed increased to about 1.8 million, 'of whom around 51 percent are immigrants', according to the report Saturday.

The bank said 60 percent of the jobs lost in the US last year were from the construction and commerce sectors, while in the manufacturing sector, nearly 1.4 million people became unemployed.

As a result, the unemployment rate of Mexican immigrants in the US grew from roughly eight percent to 12 percent.

The poverty rate of Mexican immigrants increased from 19.7 percent in 2007 to 27.1 percent in 2009. In 2008, it was 24.8 percent.

As a consequence, remittances to Mexico dropped by 15.7 percent in 2009, compared with the figure in 2008. The fall in remittances was the biggest since Mexico began keeping track in 1995.

The US is home to 12 million Mexicans, about half of them illegal immigrants.