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.
TEXT SIZE - +
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

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 More

Open Source Seeds Hit the Market, Raise Awareness

First open source seeds include 29 new varieties of broccoli, celery, kale, quinoa and other vegetables and grains 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.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid