Indo-Americans Fared Better Than Others During Recession: U.S. Report

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WASHINGTON – Like other Americans, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) including Indo-Americans were hit hard by the Great Recession, but they fared better than any other racial group, according to a new report.

During the economic downturn, the unemployment rate more than doubled for Asian American workers from 3.2 percent in 2007 to 7.5 percent in 2010, a study released by the U.S. Department of Labour.

But “For the most part, as a group, AAPI workers have had more favourable economic outcomes than workers in any other racial group,” noted the study titled “The Economic Status of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the Wake of the Great Recession.”

In 2013, the AAPI community had nearly the highest labour force participation rate at 64.9 percent and the lowest unemployment rate at 5.6 percent.

Within the group, the Japanese have the lowest unemployment rate at 3.3 percent followed by Indian and Chinese at 4.4 percent and Vietnamese at 5 percent.

Together, workers in AAPI communities also have the highest weekly median earnings of all the major race and ethnic groups ($987).

Based on raw data, the unemployment rate for Indians is lower than the unemployment rate of whites.

However, when controlled for age, sex, and educational attainment, unemployment rate for Indians is actually higher than comparable whites, the study found.

This difference suggests that the Indian community as a whole tends to be more educated, but when looking at similarly situated white workers, their employment outcomes are less favourable.

Among Asian Americans, Indian (16 weeks) and Korean (15 weeks) unemployed workers have the shortest average durations of unemployment, whereas Vietnamese workers have the longest (27 weeks).

Weekly earnings of Indian, Chinese, and Japanese workers are well above the average for all AAPI workers.

Indian and Pacific Islander women have similar gender earnings ratios as the average for all Asian Americans (75 percent).

The report suggested that education differences may play the greatest role in the differences in earnings of the racial groups.

Indian, Japanese, and Chinese Americans have the highest wages, making 32, 24, and 13 percent more than whites respectively.