• International Insurance Blog

  • Friday, February 23, 2018

The economic recession has had an impact on expat communities across the globe. Dubai’s expats are fleeing, the American expats are being forced out for lack of work and the stock markets have sent expats in the Far East running for cover. Expats living in the Netherlands are having their contracts unceremoniously chopped as their employers feel the pinch of recession.

There is also a growing number of laid off expats in Singapore who are choosing to stay put rather than head back to their Western home countries. The reason: recession is global, and the prospect of a banker getting a job in New York or London is just about as slim as them landing one in Singapore. So, rather than uprooting and flying halfway around the world a second time, many are waiting it out. Also, this year has marked a significant decline in enrollment at more expensive expat-run international schools in Singapore. The laid-off have pulled their children out of the more expensive schools in favor of the more affordable ones.

While rents in both Beijing and Shanghai are dropping, foreigners are increasingly squeezed by layoffs, reductions in living allowances, and currency devaluations. Buying a house, once considered a good investment, is also dicey, as economic uncertainty affects both the price and the pool of potential buyers. Middle management expatriates who are new to China are getting a smaller housing package, down 40 to 50 percent from their predecessors. Even foreign managers who are already in China are facing cuts. A middle manager who had been receiving 30,000 yuan per month might be asked to get by on 15,000 or 20,000 yuan, he said.

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