#AAPI face highest chronic unemployment rate: Why we should be against cuts to long-term benefits

Job seekers wait in line at a job fair in Seattle.  (AP/Photo Credit Ted Warren).
Job seekers wait in line at a job fair in Seattle (AP/Photo Credit Ted S. Warren), found via Salon.

For unemployed Americans, the new year was not a good one.

With the ushering in of 2014, many of America’s unemployed saw a sudden and terrifying cut to their long-term federal benefits. On December 28th, 1.3 million Americans battling long-term unemployment — that is, unemployment lasting longer than 6 months — suddenly found that the federal program that provided them with unemployment benefits had expired. And with that came the loss of critical income that has helped buoy these unemployed Americans through one of the toughest economic recessions in this nation’s history.

As the supposed Model Minority, Asian Americans are typically lauded as hard-working members of the workforce, and cited as reasons why unemployment benefits are unnecessary. Republicans frequently parade the Asian American community — and our below-average aggregate unemployment rate of ~6% — as reason to stop federal programs aimed to help this nation’s poor.

And, surprisingly, few Asian Americans have taken up the cause for maintaining or extending benefits for unemployed Americans. Yet, when we dig deeper into the statistics, there is ample evidence to suggest that cuts to long-term unemployment benefits should be a major cause for concern for the Asian American community.

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Underrepresentation of Asian women in a semi-scientific survey of the #AAPI blogosphere

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I’ve been blogging in the Asian American blogosphere for over a decade, and in that time, I’ve fundamentally believed that our Asian American blogging collective is heavily dominated by male voices. As a feminist blogger, I’ve found the underrepresentation of women writers discouraging. Indeed, the #NotYourAsianSidekick Twitter hashtag conversation that blew up the Internet last month was explicitly started by founder Suey Park to address this same problem.

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Yet, as I wrote about #NotYourAsianSidekick last month, it occurred to me that I had no actual evidence on the gender break-down of writers in the APIA blogosphere. Despite abundant assertions that the blogosphere — Asian American or otherwise — is male-dominated, there seemed to be a dearth of hard data on the subject.

Further, I wasn’t sure that anyone had ever actually studied our blogosphere’s demographics at all.

So, being the nerdy scientist that I am, I decided to do it myself.

(Results and a brief discussion of methodology after the jump.)

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