Diverse Asian American and Pacific Islander Workforce Faces Many Challenges

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Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) workers face significant challenges in the labor market, according to a new report prepared by the Center for Economic and Policy Research and the Center for Labor Research and Education at UCLA.

“This report provides essential information on the Asian Pacific Islander workforce that is useful for labor and community organizations, scholars and students, and policy makers and government leaders. The research reflects the complexity and diversity of the API workforce, and challenges the stereotypes that are perpetuated by the model minority myth,” said Kent Wong, director of the UCLA Labor Center and an author of the report.

Asian business team.The report, “Diversity and Change: Asian American and Pacific Islander Workers 2011”, reviews over 50 years of government data and provides the most in-depth picture to date of the AAPI workforce in the United States.

The study portrays a highly diverse workforce. About three-fourths of AAPI workers were born outside of the United States, but a high share have become U.S. citizens. AAPI workers are more likely than whites to have a four-year college degree or more, but AAPI workers are also less likely than whites to have a high school diploma.

AAPI women workers are concentrated both in typically high-paying occupations in health, finance, and computer-related fields, as well as typically poorly-paying occupations, such as cashiers, cleaners, and wait staff. AAPI men are also concentrated in many of these same high-paying occupations, but also in low-paying occupations including cooks, truck drivers, and janitors. Read more here.