Contradicting the economic success the Model Minority Myth suggests, Asian American and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) continue to be impacted by unemployment. The Labor Force Characteristics Report from the U.S. Department of Labor utilizes disaggregated data to signify the disparity in the AAPI labor force in 2011. Contrary to the 7.1% Asian American unemployment rate aggregate data suggests, Filipino (8.5%), Native Hawaiian/ Pacific Islander (10.4%) and Other Asian (9.6%) communities have unemployment rates exceeding the national average. Furthermore, an alarming 50.1% of unemployed AAPIs were jobless for over 27 weeks. With AAPIs having the highest rates of long-term unemployment of any racial or ethnic group in 2011, UI remains a lifeline for many AAPIs and other underserved communities who were heavily impacted by the recession and are still struggling to survive despite the current economic recovery.
11 million jobless Americans have benefitted from emergency financial assistance since 2008. We cannot allow Congress to eliminate UI benefits and abandon the 3.9 million Americans facing long-term unemployment. The undersigned organizations firmly believe that investing in unemployment benefits will help grow the economy the right way, by providing vulnerable workers a financial safety net as they strive to rejoin the American workforce and contribute to our nation’s economy in return. Our Organizations urge Congress to pass the UI extension immediately to support the working men and women who make America work.
The National Asian Pacific American Organizations that have signed onto this statement include:
sian Pacific American Labor Alliance, AFL-CIO
Japanese American Citizens League
National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum
National Council of Asian Pacific Islander Physicians
National Korean American Service & Education Consortium
National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance
Southeast Asian Resource Action Center
The Center for Asian Pacific American Women