Without a doubt, the American economic and unemployment crisis continues due to the ongoing pandemic. Asian-Americans are one of the groups that were largest affected by the pandemic. After the phrases, “China virus” and “kung flu” have been reiterated in colloquial and political language, Asian-Americans faced an increase of racist verbal and physical abuse. Economically, unofficial boycotts of Asian restaurants, especially Chinese restaurants, hurt the Asian-American community as unemployment rates skyrocketed.
In a study conducted by UCLA economist Paul Ong, there is a noticeable disparity between the unemployment rate of Asians and Whites since the pandemic. While unemployment rates remained fairly equal in February, Asian-American unemployment was 5% higher than whites especially in “other services.” These other services include hair salons, restaurants, nail salons, and auto-repair shops. In this category, over 20% more Asian-Americans were unemployed compared to the white counterparts.
In another study by Ong, he found that Asian-Americans whose education was of high school level had nearly 50% more people file unemployment than non-Asian Americans.
It is evident that Asian-Americans are suffering immensely due to ongoing racism, workplace discrimination, and boycotts. These studies highly suggest a correlation with the pandemic and severe unemployment in the Asian-American population. As both the cases of Asian-American hate incidents and unemployment rates rise, many Asian-Americans and advocacy groups are seeking government assistance. Surveys and studies provide crucial evidence that Asian-Americans are one of the main groups suffering the worst from the pandemic. It is time that these numbers are looked at as fact so that action can be done to fix these issues.