The Asian American experience in the United States has been marked by a basic contradiction. Part of the country’s tapestry since the 1800s, they comprise nearly 6 percent of the U.S. population and are a powerful economic force: 2 million Asian American businesses generate $700 billion in annual GDP and employ around 3.6 million people. But as our new report COVID-19 and advancing Asian American recovery finds, this cohort has historically been overlooked despite their wide-ranging contributions to U.S. society.
COVID-19 has only brought this dynamic into sharper relief: Asian Americans have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic—a theme also felt by the Black, Hispanic and Latino, and small business communities, too—and analysis of past economic downturns suggests that Asian Americans experience more serious and prolonged rates of unemployment.
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