Despite the increasing permenant nature of Moldovan migration, the effects of the economic crisis has meant an increase in return. The crisis led to deterioration in poverty and human development, notably in rural areas, with approximately one fifth of migrants returning in 2009. In 1stquarter of 2009 18% more Moldovan migrants returned compared to the respective period of 2008. Those who return enter an already contracted labour market (54% increase in unemployment in 1st quarter 2009 compared with 2008; one third of unemployed are under 29). The returnees find it difficult to integrate into the domestic labour market, due to the stiff competition (more than 10 applicants competing for each vacancy). As more migrants return, and given the ratio of young people among migrants and migrants’ mainly rural origins, the effects, in terms of youth unemployment will be felt mostly in rural areas.
Providing returning migrants with socio-professional reintegration assistance and employment opportunities can prevent re-migration and act as a pull factor for those still abroad. Active participation of the target group in selection of the reintegration option that suits best their needs and abilities will enhance their successful reintegration. Migration remains an attractive opportunity and affects the social tissue, as evidenced by the large number of children left behind by migrants without appropriate care.
Remittances, which peaked at $ 1.7 bn and a ratio of more than 30% to GDP in 2008, registered a significant drop, they nevertheless remain a mainstay of the economy, yet their productive investment is still limited at less than 10%, partly due to the prevailing low financial literacy and deficient entrepreneurship culture.
Moldovan migration management, however, needs to take into account also the large diaspora living abroad and take advantage of the benefits it can bring to the development back in country of origin. The Government’s and media’s outreach to the large Diaspora is insufficient while the latter is a potential actor in
That is why actions are needed to enhance the homeland development potential of migrants’ resources and offset detrimental social consequences of migration, by: meeting the reintegration challenges of returning migrants and young unemployed; addressing limited financial literacy and entrepreneurship culture; boosting productive investment of remittances and other Diaspora resources; mitigating the negative impact of migration on families; addressing limited capacity to maintain contacts with and support Moldovans abroad.