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

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
Oct 21, 2020 - Economy & Business

Why the stimulus delay isn't a crisis (yet)

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

If the impasse between House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the White House on a new stimulus deal is supposed to be a crisis, you wouldn't know it from the stock market, where prices continue to rise.

  • That's been in no small part because U.S. economic data has held up remarkably well in recent months thanks to the $2 trillion CARES Act and Americans' unusual ability to save during the crisis.

Pence to continue traveling despite aides testing positive for COVID-19

Marc Short with Pence in March. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Marc Short, Vice President Mike Pence’s chief of staff, tested positive for the coronavirus Saturday and is quarantining, according to a White House statement.

Why it matters: Short is Pence's closest aide, and was one of the most powerful forces on the White House coronavirus task force. Pence and second lady Karen Pence tested negative for the virus on Sunday morning, according to the vice president's office.

AOC: "Extremely important" that Biden offer Bernie Sanders a Cabinet position

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) said on CNN's "State of the Union" Sunday that she believes it's "extremely important" that Joe Biden offer Sen. Bernie Sanders and other progressive leaders Cabinet positions if he's elected president.

The big picture: Ocasio-Cortez was pressed repeatedly on policy differences between her and the more moderate Biden, including her opposition to fracking and support for Medicare for All. She responded that it would be a "privilege" and a "luxury" to be able to lobby a Biden administration on progressive issues, insisting that the focus right now should be on winning the White House.

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