Sudeep Reddy summarizes a report from the Dallas Fed on "Labor Market Globalization in the Recession and Beyond":
'Virtual' Immigration Continued Rising During Recession, by Sudeep Reddy, Real Time Economics: The global economic downturn spurred declines in physical immigration — the movement of people across borders — in 2008 and 2009. But a new Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas report says “virtual” immigration — moving the work rather than the workers — continued to grow.
“Most likely, the difference stems from the jobs the two types of immigrants typically do,” authors Michael Cox, Richard Alm and Justyna Dymerska write in the Dallas Fed’s Economic Letter. “Physical immigrants work in construction and other highly cyclical industries. Virtual immigrants are more likely to work in the services economy. It has traditionally been less sensitive than goods to cyclical fluctuations, largely because services aren’t subject to the kind of inventory bulges that make goods production unstable.”
Still, virtual immigration increased at a slower pace during the downturn. ... For instance, India’s exports in software and IT services are forecast to continue expanding. But the projected growth rate of 17% for 2009 is less than half the pace of the prior four years. ...
Here are some charts from the report (click on figures for larger versions):