Working Paper

The Labor Market Impact of Covid-19 on Asian Americans

Abstract: Asian Americans faced a disproportionately larger surge in unemployment rates than other racial and ethnic groups during the Covid-19 pandemic. While existing literature typically examines labor demand channels to explain this, we instead explore a labor supply channel. Our hypothesis is that Asian Americans are more cautious about Covid-19 infections and thus more selective about job opportunities, contributing to their higher unemployment rate than other groups. Analysis of cellphone data during the pandemic indicates that non-work mobility significantly decreased in areas with larger Asian populations, supporting our hypothesis.

JEL Classification: J7; I0; J2;

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Bibliographic Information

Provider: Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago

Part of Series: Working Paper Series

Publication Date: 2023-03-08

Number: WP 2023-10