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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Young Asian American men and women, who typically show low unemployment numbers, are experiencing some of the worst rates of unemployment during the pandemic.

Staggering stat: Since the pandemic began, unemployment among young Asian American workers — those between the ages of 16 and 24 — has jumped around 300%, according to data compiled by USAFacts as reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

  • The current unemployment rate among young Asian women is 22.1% and 20.3% among men. Compare that with February's numbers, which were 5.6% and 5.5%, respectively.
  • The only group with worse rates than young Asians is young Black Americans, with 25.6% unemployment for women and 23.7% for men.

For young Asian workers, "it's a perfect storm of a lot of factors," says Marlene Kim, an economist at the University of Massachusetts Boston.

  • Geography: Asian Americans are concentrated in some of the hardest-hit parts of the country, such as California and Hawaii.
  • Industry: Although Asians Americans are overrepresented in some of the sectors that have shed the fewest jobs during the pandemic, like tech and health care, they are also overrepresented in the sectors that have seen the most upheaval, like travel, service and hospitality.
    • Jobs disproportionately held by young Asians that have been hurt by the pandemic include taxi drivers, nail technicians, travel agents and restaurant workers, Kim tells Axios.
    • And Asian Americans have been at the center of the pandemic's annihilation of small businesses, as they own 26% of restaurants and 17% of retail stores, per McKinsey.
  • Racial bias: Early on, Asian-owned businesses were also hit by pandemic-era racism and xenophobia. "You heard stories that people were not going to Chinatowns anymore," Kim says.

Go deeper: The stark income inequality among Asian immigrants

Go deeper

AAPI lawmakers ramp up pressure on Biden to nominate Julie Su for Labor secretary

California Labor Secretary Julie Su. Photo: Katie Falkenberg/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) lawmakers are pushing for President-elect Biden to nominate California Labor Secretary Julie Su to head the U.S. Department of Labor.

Why it matters: Biden has been pulled in multiple directions by different stakeholders as he looks to follow through on appointing the “single-most diverse” Cabinet in U.S. history. AAPI lawmakers have escalated their calls in recent weeks, with Rep. Judy Chu (D-Calif.) on Friday urging Biden to include an AAPI Cabinet secretary.

Updated 21 mins ago - World

Mexican President López Obrador tests positive for coronavirus

Mexico's President Andrés Manuel López Obrador during a press conference at National Palace in Mexico City, Mexico, on Wednesday. Photo: Ismael Rosas/Eyepix Group/Barcroft Media via Getty Images

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador announced Sunday evening that he's tested positive for COVID-19.

Driving the news: López Obrador tweeted that he has mild symptoms and is receiving medical treatment. "As always, I am optimistic," he added. "We will all move forward."

37 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Sarah Huckabee Sanders to run for governor of Arkansas

Sarah Huckabee Sanders at FOX News' studios in New York City in 2019. Photo: Steven Ferdman/Getty Images

Former White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders will announce Monday that she's running for governor of Arkansas.

The big picture: Sanders was touted as a contender after it was announced she was leaving the Trump administration in June 2019. Then-President Trump tweeted he hoped she would run for governor, adding "she would be fantastic." Sanders is "seen as leader in the polls" in the Republican state, notes the Washington Post's Josh Dawsey, who first reported the news.

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