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New Jobs Data to Provide More Accurate Picture of Asian America

For the first time, the Labor Department will provide a more accurate picture of Asian-American employment with monthly, seasonally-adjusted data.
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Fewer Asian Americans were unemployed last month, as the unemployment rate for Asian Americans was at 4 percent compared, to 5.7 percent for the nation. More importantly, the number has gone down steadily from October 2014, when it reached 5 percent. It dropped to 4.7 percent in November; 4.2 percent in December, and finally to the most recent 4 percent figure.

Starting with last week’s numbers, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics is releasing more accurate data to help monitor how Asian Americans are impacted by seasonal labor.

“Our work to help Americans punch their ticket to the middle class is more data driven than it’s ever been before, and getting accurate and timely data is essential to meeting the employment needs of all our nation’s workers,” said U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez in a released statement. “With our introduction of monthly seasonally adjusted employment data for Asian-Americans in the U.S. labor force, we now have more information that will allow the Labor department, local communities and worker advocates to respond effectively to the needs of the AAPI community.”

Last year, Congresswoman Judy Chu (CA-27) and Congresswoman Grace Meng (NY-06) urged Perez for the figures to make sure there was an adjustment for Asian Americans.

“Before we couldn’t compare month to month, only year to year,” said Jason Kuruvilla of the U.S. Department of Labor. “Now we can see month to month the impact of the economy to Asian Americans.”

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