Long-Term Unemployment Is Uniquely Hard on Asian-Americans

Stressed and worried young Asian woman working from home, handling paperworks and going through her financials.
AsiaVision / Getty Images

Pandemic shutdowns began a year ago, and unemployment rolls increased almost immediately. Despite efforts to reduce job loss through programs like the Paycheck Protection Program, the Pew Research Center found that 41.5% of those who are unemployed during the pandemic have been unemployed for six months or more. This is higher than February 2020, when 19.3% of the unemployed were out of work for the long term, as well as higher than the long-term unemployment peak of 40.4% during the Great Recession.

See: Do You Think the Minimum Wage Should Be $15? Take Our Poll
Find: Weekly Jobless Claims Unexpectedly Spike, Asian-Americans Most Affected by Long-Term Unemployment

An unexpected finding of the study is that Asian-Americans had the highest long-term unemployment rate. Of those who are unemployed, 46% had been out of work for six months or more. Black workers had the next-highest long-term unemployment rate, at 38%. Hispanic workers had the lowest long-term unemployment rate, at 34%. White workers had a 35% long-term unemployment rate.

More From Your Money

The high rate of long-term unemployed Asian-Americans may be due to their relatively high population in California and New York, both of which are hard-hit by the coronavirus. It may also be due to their above-average likelihood of holding at least a bachelor’s degree, as 41% of those with a bachelor’s degree or more were also among the long-term unemployed.

See: A Stark Look at the COVID-19 Job Class Divide, One Year Later
Find: How Women in the Workplace are Faring Due to the Pandemic

The long-term unemployed make up 2.6% of the total workforce. Discouraged workers, those who have been unemployed so long that they have stopped looking for a job, are estimated to make up 0.4% of the potential workforce, for a long-term unemployment rate of 3%. Asian-American workers are somewhat less likely to fall into the discouraged worker category than other groups, although that may change if the recession persists.

See: Cathay Bank Review: Multilingual Service and a Robust Product Line

More from GOBankingRates

About the Author

Ann Logue is a writer specializing in business and finance. Her most recent book is The Complete Idiot’s Guide: Options Trading (Alpha 2016). She lives in Chicago.

Untitled design (1)
Close popup The GBR Closer icon

Sending you timely financial stories that you can bank on.

Sign up for our daily newsletter for the latest financial news and trending topics.

Loading...
Please enter an email.
Please enter a valid email address.
There was an unknown error. Please try again later.

For our full Privacy Policy, click here.