New York City

Asian American New Yorkers Experienced Highest Surge in Unemployment During Pandemic

People walk past street vendors in New York City's Chinatown on August 10, 2020 in New York City.
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A Bangladeshi American New Yorker says she was laid off from her steady job at a Hudson News newsstand during the coronavirus pandemic, NBC News reports. Her husband, who's undocumented and spent years working in restaurant kitchens, is also unable to work because of several serious medical issues but can't receive unemployment benefits because of his immigration status.

The woman, who asked to remain anonymous for fear of retaliation, has been left to care for her family of four with her unemployment checks while confronting medical problems of her own and applying for job after job, she said.

The pandemic has had severe economic consequences in the Asian American and Pacific Islander community in New York City, recent research finds.

The Asian American Federation, a social services nonprofit, recently released a report looking into the impact the virus has had on unemployment in the community. It found that at the beginning of the pandemic in February, Asian Americans in New York City had a jobless rate of 3.4 percent. By May, the rate had surged to 25.6 percent, the largest increase among all major racial groups.

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