The interesting facts and the information below are based on a report from US Department of Labor and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Their report ‘Labor Force Characteristics by Race and Ethnicity, 2008′ is compiled for the year 2008; however, the picture painted below is probably not far from what we have today, in 2009.
Also, note that there is no separate category for ‘Indian Americans’; in this study, they are part the ‘Asian’ group. Here are the key highlights from the US Department of Labor report:
Occupation and industry
- Compared to Asians and whites, blacks and Hispanics are less likely to be in management, professional, and related occupations—the highest paying major job category.
- In 2008, half of Asian men worked in management, professional, and related occupations, compared with only 34 percent of white men, 23 percent of black men, and 15 percent of Hispanic men.
- Among women, in 2008, Asians were more likely than other groups to be employed in management, professional, and related jobs.
- About 46 percent of Asian women were employed in management and professional occupation group, compared with about 41 percent of white women, 31 percent of black women, and 24 percent of Hispanic women. In contrast, 64 percent of Hispanic women worked in service jobs and in sales and office jobs, compared with about 60 percent of black women, 53 percent of white women, and 46 percent of Asian women.
- Asians accounted for 5 percent of all employed workers but made up a much larger share of workers in several job categories, including computer software engineers (29 percent); physicians and surgeons (17 percent); and electrical, electronics, and electromechanical assemblers (18 percent).
- Asians were over-represented in professional and business services, in manufacturing, and in leisure and hospitality.
Unemployment and not in the labor force
- Among the major race and ethnic groups, Asians had the lowest unemployment rate of 4.0% in 2008. The blacks had the highest rate at 10.1 percent, 7.6 percent for Hispanics and 5.2 percent for whites.
- The unemployment rates were 4.9 percent for white adult men and 4.4 percent for white adult women. The jobless rates for Asian adult men and women were 3.9 and 3.5 percent, respectively. However, the rates for black adult men and women were 10.2 and 8.1 percent, respectively.
- Teenagers (ages 16 to 19) are especially vulnerable to joblessness. In 2008, black teenagers had the highest unemployment rate among the major race and ethnicity groups at 31.2 percent, compared with 22.4 percent for Hispanics, 16.8 percent for whites, and 14.6 percent for Asians.
- Unemployed blacks have been jobless for longer periods than unemployed workers in other groups. In 2008, the median duration of unemployment for blacks was 12.1 weeks, compared with 10.2 weeks for Asians, 8.8 weeks for whites, and 8.4 weeks for Hispanics.
- About 90 percent of blacks and Asians in the labor force had received at least a high school diploma, the same proportion as whites. However, only about 68 percent of Hispanics had completed high school.
- Asians were most likely to have graduated from college; 58 percent had a bachelor’s degree or higher, compared with 34 percent of whites, 24 percent of blacks, and 16 percent of Hispanics.
- For all the groups, higher levels of education are associated with a greater likelihood of being employed.
- Individuals with higher levels of education generally have better access to higher paying jobs. However, at nearly every level of education, blacks and Hispanics were more likely to be unemployed in 2008 than Asians or whites. Go figure!
- Blacks and Hispanics have considerably lower earnings than Asians or whites.
- In 2008, the median usual weekly earnings of full-time wage and salary workers were $589 for blacks and $529 for Hispanics, compared with $861 for Asians and $742 for whites.
- The earnings of black men ($620) and Hispanic men ($559) were 75 and 68 percent, respectively, of the earnings of white men ($825).The earnings of black women ($554) were 85 percent of the earnings of white women ($654).
- In 2008, median usual weekly earnings of Asian men ($1,403) and white men ($1,255) working full time in management, professional, and related occupations were well above the earnings of Hispanic men ($1,002) and black men ($892) in the same occupations. This same disparity is evident toward the other end of the earnings spectrum as well.
- Among women, the earnings gap is generally smaller than that for men, and, in some major occupational categories, earnings levels are fairly close. In management, professional, and related occupations, for example, the earnings of black women ($763) and Hispanic women ($775) were around 85 percent of those of white women ($900). In most occupational categories, Asian women had the highest earnings.
Families and mothers
- The likelihood of having an employed family member declined from 2007 to 2008 for white, black, and Hispanic families; but there was no change for Asian families.
- Asian families remained the most likely to have an employed family member (90 percent) in 2008, followed by Hispanic families (87 percent) and white families (82 percent).
- In 2008, about 12 percent of Asian families and 15 percent of white families were maintained by women. However, 44 percent of black families and 24 percent of Hispanic families were maintained by women (with no spouse present).
From the stats above, it is clear that:
- Asians (the category includes Indian Americans) and whites fair better in the job market and in overall employment in USA.
- Asians clearly have an edge when it comes to Education levels.
- Asians also have relatively higher presence in the management positions and they enjoy higher earning power for the same job or occupation compred to other minorities.
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