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

    Syrian Torture Victim Recounts Horrors

    'You make them think you have surrendered' says Jalal Nofal, a doctor who was jailed and survived repeated interrogations in Syria

    Mandela’s Millions Paid to Heirs, But Who Gets His Country Home?

    Saga around $3 million estate of country's first democratic president is far from over as Winnie Mandela’s fight for home overshadows payouts

    Guess Which Beach is 'Best in the US'?

    Hawaii’s Hanauma Bay tops an annual "top 10" list compiled by a coastal scientist, also known as Doctor Beach

    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.
    Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.
    Video

    Video Meet Your New Co-Worker: The Robot

    Increasing numbers of robots are joining the workforce, as companies scale back and more processes become automated. The latest robots are flexible and collaborative, built to work alongside humans as opposed to replacing them. VOA’s Tina Trinh looks at the next generation of automated employees helping out their human colleagues.
    Video

    Video Wheelchair Technology in Tune With Times

    Technologies for the disabled, including wheelchair technology, are advancing just as quickly as everything else in the digital age. Two new advances in wheelchairs offer improved control and a more comfortable fit. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Baby Boxes Offer Safe Haven for Unwanted Children

    No one knows exactly how many babies are abandoned worldwide each year. The statistic is a difficult one to determine because it is illegal in most places. Therefore unwanted babies are often hidden and left to die. But as Erika Celeste reports from Woodburn, Indiana, a new program hopes to make surrendering infants safer for everyone.
    Video

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Communities in the U.S. often hold festivals to show what makes them special. In California, for example, farmers near Fresno celebrate their figs and those around Gilmore showcase their garlic. Mike O'Sullivan reports that the wine-producing region of Temecula offers local vintages in an annual festival where rides on hot-air balloons add to the excitement.
    Video

    Video US Elementary School Offers Living Science Lessons

    Zero is not a good score on a test at school. But Discovery Elementary is proud of its “net zero” rating. Net zero describes a building in which the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable sources equals the amount of energy the building uses. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, the innovative features in the building turn the school into a teaching tool, where kids can't help but learn about science and sustainability. Faith Lapidus narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora