Population of employed Asians in US falls

Population of employed Asians in US falls

New York: As the global financial quagmire wiped off over two lakh jobs last month in the US, the number of employed Asians has shrunk by about 34,000, even as the employed population among the blacks and whites rose considerably during this period.

According to the latest employment status data of the civilian population by race, released by US government’s Department of Labour, the number of “employed" whites rose by 95,000 during October to 119.4 million.

In the same month, which incidentally saw the US moving toward electing its first African-American President Barack Hussein Obama, the number of “employed" blacks or African- Americans rose in the country by 80,000 to 15.8 million.

However, the Hispanics or Latinos as an ethnic group seems to have suffered the biggest fall in the employment rate.

According to the data, the number of employed Hispanics or Latinos in the US fell by 1,43,000 in October to 20,327,000 persons.

The department classifies people as employed if they did functioned as employees during the reference period, pursued their own businesses, professions, or farm work, or operated without pay at least 15 hours in a family business or farm.

“People are also counted as employed if they were temporarily absent from their jobs because of illness, bad weather, vacation, labour-management disputes, or personal reasons," the data say.

The monthly data further showed the unemployment rate increased during the month for the Asians as well as for the Hispanics or Latinos, while it fell for the blacks and remained unchanged for the whites.

The number of employed Asians fell to 68,70,000 in October from 69,04,000 in the previous month.

However, despite a fall in the number of employed people, those of Asian ethnicity have the lowest unemployment rate after whites among the four races.

The unemployment rate among Asians rose to 5.5% in October, from 5.2% in September, while the same for Hispanics or Latinos rose to 8.4% from 7.6%.

For blacks or African-Americans, the unemployment rate fell to 11% from 11.2%, while it remained unchanged at 3.8 per cent for the whites.

Bogged down by one of the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression of 1930s, the US saw 240,000 people lose their jobs in October alone with a 14-year high unemployment rate of 6.5%, taking the total job loss figure for this year to 1.2 million.

On a year-on-year basis, however, the number of employed people rose among the Asians, while the same declined for the whites, blacks as well as Hispanics or Latinos.

Comparing on a year-on-year basis, the number of employed Asians in the US rose by 64,000 people, while for the whites it fell by 10,35,000, for blacks it went down by 238,000 and for Hispanics or Latinos by 329,000 from October 2007 to the levels seen at the end of October this year.

Number of overall job losses in the US is expected to rise even further in the months to come, as more companies are announcing plans to cut down their workforce. The last three months account for more than half of the year-to-date figure of 1.2 million.

As part of their efforts to tackle the economic turmoil, a number of firms including big names like General Electric, Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, Merck, Ford, Pepsico, General Motors, American Express, and Bank of America have either cut jobs or are planning to slash their workforce.