Skip to content Unemployment claims from Asian Americans have spiked 6,900% in New York. Here's why

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But even so, the increase for Asian Americans is an oddity: It’s so large, it’s disproportionate to the size of their labor force.

All of those figures contribute to the common perception that Asian Americans are more economically successful than average and to the pernicious model minority myth about Asian Americans being polite, working hard and pulling themselves up by their bootstraps.

Economically, Asian Americans are the most divided racial or ethnic group in the US, a Pew Research study found, with high-income Asian Americans in the 90th percentile earning 10.7 times as much as Asian Americans in the 10th percentile.

But occupations alone likely don’t explain the disproportionate rise in Asian unemployment claims as other groups work in hard-hit industries too.

The long road aheadThe financial impact on Asian Americans may change how these neighborhoods look once the pandemic ends.

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