Asian American suffer effects of recession longest | WBEZ
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Race: Out Loud

Asian American workers suffer effects of recession longest

There’s been plenty of reporting on how the recession has been hard on employment for African Americans and Latinos. But new research shows that another group is actually doing worse - Asian Americans.

Despite having higher levels of education, Asian American workers in the United States have a consistently higher share of long-term unemployment than their black, white or Hispanic counterparts. That's true even of highly educated Asian Americans, who fare worse than their white counterparts with similar education levels. That’s according to a study of government employment data by the Economic Policy Institute. The group today released a supplement to a longer study that was published in April.

Last year, according to Algernon Austin, was the “second in a row” that Asian Americans had the largest share of unemployed workers who were considered “long term” unemployed. That means workers who are out of work for more than six months. In 2010 and 2011 the Asian American long term unemployment rate was just slightly higher than that of African Americans.

Check out a conversation we had with Austin on Vocalo's The Morning AMp:


The longer study concludes that part of the problem with attaining jobs seems to be that Asian Americans are more likely to be foreign-born and suffer from racial bias. Plus, it bears noting, as the authors did, that geography may also be a factor. About one-third of Asian American workers live in California, which has been one of the states worst hit during the recession. California's most recent unemployment rate is 10.9 percent (compare that to 8.7 percent for the same time period in Illinois).

The reports were based on 2011 data, the most recent available that includes demographic information.


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