Washington, April 6:Â Asian Americans with college degrees are more likely to be jobless than their white counterparts in this harsh economy, according to a report.
A study by the Economic Policy Institute entitled “Unfairly Disadvantaged” found that, while Asian Americans had lower overall jobless rates than whites from 2007-2010, those with Bachelor’s degrees or higher faced tougher odds of finding work than their Caucasian counterparts, reported Xinhua.
The findings are important, the report said Thursday, because a sizable chunk of the country’s Asian workforce — 57 percent — have Bachelor’s or advanced degrees, compared with 39 percent of white workers.
Marlene Kim, the report’s author and a professor of economics at the University of Massachusetts in Boston, said that white US- born managers tend to hire those most like themselves for higher-level positions, and that Asian Americans have a tougher time landing those jobs because they are perceived as foreign born, mostly due to their looks.
And while they are perceived as being hard workers, very organized and good at grunt work, Asian Americans are also perceived by managers to be unable to take on leadership rolls, which hurts their ability to move up the corporate ladder.
“In management you have to be accepted by (higher ups) and often be very socially similar, because there is a lot of sense that you have to trust this other person,”she said. “People tend to groom and train people to replace them who are very much like them.”
“With Asians, we look different, we are seen as different, we are seen as foreign born, so there isn’t this shared commonality and trust factor, so Asians and women and people of colour have to work harder to gain that (acceptance) and many never do,” she said.
Still, Asian Americans overall tend to do well in the US. While the overall jobless rate in February was 8.3 percent, the unemployment rate for Asians was 6.3 percent.
Asians in the US also on an average earn more than whites. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Asians last year earned an average weekly paycheck of $866 while whites earned $775, making Asians the country’s top earners.
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