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

Uganda Court Annuls Anti-Gay Law

Court says law was passed in parliament without enough members present for a full quorum More

Multimedia Thailand Makes Efforts to Improve Conditions for Migrant Laborers

In Thailand, its not uncommon for parents to bring their children to work; one company, in-collaboration with other organizations, address safety concerns More

In Indonesia, Jihad Video Raises Concern

Video calls on Indonesians to join Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, ISIL 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.
In Thailand, Some Efforts to Improve Conditions For Migrant Laborersi
X
Steve Herman
August 01, 2014 6:22 PM
Thailand has been facing increasing international scrutiny as a hub of human trafficking and slave labor. Some of the kingdom’s companies are striving to improve working conditions, especially for the millions of migrant laborers from surrounding countries. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok takes a look at one initiative for children at construction sites
Video

Video In Thailand, Some Efforts to Improve Conditions For Migrant Laborers

Thailand has been facing increasing international scrutiny as a hub of human trafficking and slave labor. Some of the kingdom’s companies are striving to improve working conditions, especially for the millions of migrant laborers from surrounding countries. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok takes a look at one initiative for children at construction sites
Video

Video Public Raises its Voice on Power Plant Pollution

In the United States, proposed rules to cut pollution from the nation’s 600 coal-fired power plants are generating a heated debate. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, charged with writing and implementing the plan, has already received 300,000 written comments. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, another 1,600 people are lining up this week at EPA headquarters and at satellite offices around the country to give their testimony in person.
Video

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict in Gaza, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities. Probably the most important destination is the local bakery. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Gaza City.
Video

Video China Investigates Powerful Former Security Chief

The public in China is welcoming the Communist Party's decision to investigate one of the country's once most powerful politicians, former domestic security chief Zhou Yongkang. Analysts say the move by President Xi Jinping is not only an effort to win more support for the party, but an essential step to furthering much needed economic reforms and removing those who would stand in the way of change. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US-Funded Program Offers Honduran Children Alternative to Illegal Immigration

President Obama and Central American leaders recently agreed to come up with a plan to address poverty and crime in the region that is fueling the surge of young migrants trying to illegally enter the United States. VOA’s Brian Padden looks at one such program in Honduras - funded in part by the United States - which gives street kids not only food and safety but a chance for a better life without, crossing the border.
Video

Video 'Fab Lab' Igniting Revolution in Kenya

The University of Nairobi’s Science and Technology Park is banking on 3-D prototyping to spark a manufacturing revolution in the country. Lenny Ruvaga has more for from Nairobi's so-called “FabLab” for VOA.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.

AppleAndroid