News / USA

Long-term Unemployment Hits Asian-Americans Hardest

Job seekers line up at a job fair in Boston. While overall unemployment for Asian-Americans remains below the national average, their rate of long-term unemployment is the highest.Job seekers line up at a job fair in Boston. While overall unemployment for Asian-Americans remains below the national average, their rate of long-term unemployment is the highest.
x
Job seekers line up at a job fair in Boston. While overall unemployment for Asian-Americans remains below the national average, their rate of long-term unemployment is the highest.
Job seekers line up at a job fair in Boston. While overall unemployment for Asian-Americans remains below the national average, their rate of long-term unemployment is the highest.
Asian-Americans suffer the highest rates of long-term unemployment of any group in the United States, according to a recent study issued by the Economic Policy Institute in Washington, D.C.

While the overall Asian-American unemployment rate sits at 7.1 percent, lower than the national average of 8.1 percent, the latest data show that just over half of unemployed Asian-Americans have been without work for longer than six months. That is up from 48.7 percent in 2010.

For unemployed whites, 42.4 are long-term unemployed, for blacks it is 49.9 percent and for Hispanics, 39.8 percent.

Asian-Americans are often portrayed in the media or movies as highly educated super-achievers. But the reality, according to this study, is that even the most educated are losing out on job opportunities.

Asian-Americans with a college degree had an unemployment rate of 6.4 percent in 2011, while whites with the same education level had an unemployment rate of 4.3 percent, the study found.

Marlene Kim, the study’s author, said several factors are driving the phenomenon.

First, she said, geography plays a role in the joblessness, as nearly one-third of all Asian-Americans live in California, which is struggling with a 10.9 percent overall unemployment rate.

For foreign-born Asian-Americans, many have linguistic challenges, and employers may prefer U.S. citizens over permanent residents.

A final factor could be racially driven, she said.

“There's evidence that there might be this bias against Asians with higher education because they’re perceived as being foreign born, lacking language skills, being different or not socially similar,” said Kim, an economics professor at the University of Massachusetts in Boston.

“That might be driving the higher long-term unemployment rates in a weak job market when employers have a choice in who they hire. It seems like we can get the busboy jobs, the jobs that seem right for immigrants, but it's harder to get the higher-level jobs.”

Kim said she was uncertain how to weigh each factor to explain Asian-Americans high rate of long-term unemployment, but plans to study that next.

What the study makes clear is that Asian-Americans are suffering under the economic downturn, said Tuyet Le, the executive director of the Asian-American Institute in Chicago.

“It challenges policy makers to rethink the model minority stereotype, and begin assessing the very real, racially-motivated barriers that hamper Asian-Americans from becoming economically successful,” she said in a statement.

Shirley Lin, an attorney with the Asian-American Legal Defense and Education Fund, said these barriers may push many Asian-Americans into low-wage industries where she says they often are forced to work overtime with no pay.

Increased attention to the statistics in the study, Lin said, can break down preconceived notions about Asian-Americans.

“Statistics such as these will dismantle widespread myths that Asian-Americans do not need assistance in achieving social, academic, or professional success," said Lin.

You May Like

Could Nemtsov Threaten Putin in Death as in Life?

Dynamic and debonair opposition leader had supported liberal economic reforms, criticized Russian president's aggression in Ukraine More

Oil Smuggling Highlights Challenges in Shutting Down IS Finances

Pentagon spokesman says Islamic State 'certainly continues to get revenue from the oil industry black market' but that airstrikes have made a dent More

India Focuses on Infrastructure, Investment to Propel Economy

Government expects economy to grow at 8 to 8.5 percent in next fiscal year More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: NGUYEN
May 27, 2012 10:24 AM
Complains don't help. Go out there to compete with every body for your jobs,your life.

by: Chuckterzella from: New York
May 26, 2012 1:32 PM
Surprising...I've spent a lot of time in California's Sierra Nevada Foothills (where admittedly Asian Americans aren't as abundant as say, the coastal cities), but I never would have thought the statistic would be true. In CA I'd give my vote to Hispanics and in NY, Blacks.

The reasoning seems sound however, yet still unexpected.


by: Cha Cha Cohen
May 26, 2012 12:19 PM
America has a long way to go to stop racial discrimination. It is an age old practice! An Asean or African has to be twice as good and qualified to get a similar job as by Americans. Which is simply exploitation. In my opinion it is a social sin!

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Casei
X
Katherine Gypson
February 25, 2015 11:30 PM
The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Hurt Nascent Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Industry

Falling oil prices are helping consumers purchase cheaper petroleum at the pump. But that’s made hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” less economically viable for the companies in the United States invested in the process. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports on one Midwestern town that was hoping to change its fortunes by cashing in on the next big U.S. oil boom.
Video

Video Fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan Fuels Mass Displacement

Heavy fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan state is causing hundreds of thousands to flee into uncertain conditions. Local aid organizations estimate as many as 400,000 civilians have been internally displaced since the conflict began more than three years ago, while another 250,000 have fled across the border to refugee camps in South Sudan. VOA's Adam Bailes reports.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.
Video

Video A Filmmaker Discovers Her Biracial Identity in "Little White Lie

Lacey Schwartz grew up in an upper middle-class Jewish family, in a town in upstate New York where almost everyone she knew was white. She assumed that she was, as well. Her recent documentary, Little White Lie, tells the story of how she uncovered the secret of her true racial background. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more on the film.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video US-Cuba Normalization Talks Resume Friday

Negotiations aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba resume Friday. On the table: lifting a half-century trade embargo and easing banking and travel restrictions. There's opposition in Congress, but some analysts say there may be sufficient political and economic incentives in both nations for a potential breakthrough this year. VOA's Mil Arcega reports.
Video

Video Pakistan's Deadline For SIM Registration Has Cellphone Users Scrambling

Pakistani cell phone users have until midnight Thursday to register their SIM cards, or their service will be cut off. While some privacy experts worry about government intrusion, many Pakistanis are just worried about keeping their phone lines open. VOA Deewa reporter Arshad Muhmand has more from Peshawar.
Video

Video Myanmar Warns Factory Workers to End Strikes

Outside Myanmar's main city Yangon, thousands of workers walked off their jobs earlier this month demanding a doubling of their wages, pay raises after a year and input from labor unions on industrial regulations. Since Friday, the standoff has grown more tense as police moved in to disrupt the sit-ins, resulting in clashes that injured people from both sides. VOA correspondent Steve Herman visited industrial zones which have become a focus of Myanmar's fledgling workers rights movement.
Video

Video Oscar Winners Do More Than Thank the Academy

The Academy Awards presentation is Hollywood’s night to reward the best movies from the previous year. It’s typically a lot of glitter, a lot of thank you’s, a lot of speeches. But many of this year’s speeches carried messages beyond the thank you's. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti takes a look.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More