Women in Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) and other minority communities experienced the highest long-term unemployment rates resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, a recent analysis of UCLA statistics from 2020 revealed.
According to the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum (NAPAWF), nearly half (44%) of all Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) women who lost their jobs last year have been out of work for over six months, reported The Hill
- NAPAWF cited, in a brief provided to NextShark, race/ethnicity- and gender-based discrimination, immigration status, and abuse-prone jobs as barriers that keep AAPI women from actively participating in the workforce.
- Despite only making up 2.9% of the overall workforce, AAPI women make up 3.8% of the front-line workforce, such as restaurant workers, salon workers, retail workers and personal care aides.
- Working in such jobs also makes AAPI women heavily impacted by the pandemic and increasingly prone to anti-AAPI violence and discrimination. These women are also typically paid less than white males doing the same jobs.
- AAPI women were also the most susceptible to racist incidents, many of which happened in the workplace. AAPI female or gender nonbinary victims account for 70% of the hate incidents reported in 2020.
- In March, NAPAWF’s survey found that nearly 78% of AAPI women have been affected by anti-AAPI racism in the last two years.
- The unemployment rate for AAPI immigrant women increased to 17% in May last year. The impact is severely felt as nearly 70% of adult Asians in the U.S. are foreign-born.
Finding solutions: The group noted in the brief that AAPI women could thrive if they have the “autonomy to make critical decisions” in their role as parents or family members.
- “Long-term unemployment does not just affect our community financially, but also has far-reaching consequences which include robbing AAPI women of their agency to do what is best for themselves and their families,” NAPAWF said.
- NAPAWF brought to light the diversity of issues concerning women within the AAPI community and highlighted the importance of disaggregating data by ethnicity, immigration status and gender.
- The group shared: “There may be critical differences in the rates of unemployment among different ethnicities, and lumping us all together not only fails to acknowledge that, but it also erases many of our distinct economic issues that need to be addressed.”