Asian American Job Losses in NYC Surpass Other Groups Amid Pandemic : Asian American Federation Report


New York___The Asian American Federation (AAF) released a new report, Impact of COVID-19 on Asian American Employment in New York City, that shows how the pandemic has taken a heavy toll on employment rates among Asian New Yorkers, with unemployment benefit applications increasing by more than 6,000% from February to June 2020 for this population. In February 2020, Asian Americans in New York City had a jobless rate of 3.4%, according to an analysis by the City Comptroller’s office, lower than that of Hispanics (5.2%) and Blacks (4.6%). However, Asian American unemployment soared to 25.6% in May 2020, the largest increase among all major racial groups. Asian Americans comprise over 16% of the population in New York City and are the fastest-growing demographic. It is also the poorest, with 25% of the population living in poverty – a condition that has been exacerbated by record job losses.

AAF’s report shows how hard hit many Asian ethnic groups were by job losses and identifies which occupations Asian communities rely on to provide for their families. The high jobless rate among Asian New Yorkers is a result of their disproportionate dependence for jobs in specific industries such as restaurants, garment manufacturing, retail, transportation, and personal services like beauty nail salons, which have been the most devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The report also recommends actions to be taken to ensure that Asian New Yorkers have equal access to the various COVID-19 relief programs and suggests that city and state governing bodies provide assistance and claim forms in the languages that Asian Americans speak; introduce workforce development programs that prioritize marginalized and low-income communities in order to increase economic opportunity; and diversify the types of jobs available to Asian New Yorkers, especially for new immigrants.



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