Asian Americans Out of Work Due to COVID-19 Stay Jobless Longer than Others, Study Finds

Jobless Asians

Asian Americans are reportedly finding it harder than others in the United States to regain the jobs they lost in 2020 due to the pandemic.

Out of work: A recent study has highlighted that an estimated 10 million Asian workers had a relatively low unemployment rate of 5.9% between October to December in 2020.

  • Nearly half of the jobless in the group remained out of work for at least 27 weeks, Bloomberg reports.
  • The figure accounted for a significantly larger share than those of unemployed White, Black and Hispanic Americans.
  • The study attributed the discrepancy to economic and geographic reasons. Nearly a third of Asian Americans reside in California, one of the states that have been heavily impacted by COVID-19 restrictions.
  • Almost a quarter of Asian workers are also in sectors that are vulnerable to closures, such as hospitality, leisure and retail.

From the start: San Francisco State University’s Economics Professor Emeritus, Donald Mar, co-wrote the study and noted that over the first two months of COVID-19, Asian Americans were among the hardest hit.

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  • They sustained a much higher rate of business closures compared to those of the small businesses owned by non-Hispanic Whites. 
  • Making up 16% of California’s labor force in February 2020, Asians filed for 19% of the initial unemployment claims in the first couple of months of COVID-19 restrictions. Asians in New York State, who make up 9%, filed for 14% of unemployment claims by mid-April last year.
  • Foreign-born Asians with limited English skills are at greater risk of being jobless for a longer period of time since applying for government financial support is already a challenge for them.
  • Howard Shih, the Research and Policy Director of the Asian American Federation, states that Asian immigrant workers, who make up over half of the demographic, are at a huge disadvantage. 
  • Aid programs such as the Paycheck Protection Program support small companies, but these programs were not designed with the Asian community in mind, which is why plenty of Asians across the nation are not usually eligible to apply for certain kinds of loans.

Feature Image via Getty

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