Asian Americans recorded the highest jobless rates among U.S. women in the last six months of 2020, data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) show.The country lost a net total of 140,000 jobs in December, the first month of job loss since employment opportunities resumed last May.Shockingly, all those lost jobs belonged to women -- that’s 156,000 occupations gone compared to a 16,000 gain for men, according to the National Women's Law Center (NWLC).Asian American women aged 16 and above were apparently hit hardest, having a share of unemployed workers at 44% for at least six months.
Meanwhile, Black and Latina women aged 16 and above had unemployment shares of 40.8% and 38.3%, respectively.Asian Americans of the same age limit also fared worse than all U.S. women, whose average unemployment share came at 38.6%.
The abysmal jobless rate can be traced to a trend that has affected all Asian Americans since the onset of COVID-19. From February to June 2020, the group’s unemployment rates surged by more than 450%. And while overall unemployment dropped in May 2020, it increased by 0.5 percentage points for Asian Americans, according to a McKinsey report. By August 2020, Asian Americans had a jobless rate of 10.7% -- far exceeding that of white Americans at 7.3%. “It’s especially notable because among Asian Americans, the average unemployment rate was the lowest before the pandemic,” Karthick Ramakrishnan, founder and director of AAPI Data, told the Fast Company. For instance, Asian Americans had a jobless rate of 2.5% in December 2019, while the U.S. rate was at 3.5%.