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Try out PMC Labs and tell us what you think. Learn More. Women have more body fat than men, but in contrast to the deleterious metabolic consequences of the central obesity typical of men, the pear-shaped body fat distribution of many women is associated with lower cardiometabolic risk. To understand the mechanisms regulating adiposity and adipose tissue distribution in men and women, ificant research attention has focused on comparing adipocyte morphological and metabolic properties, as well as the capacity of preadipocytes derived from different depots for proliferation and differentiation. Available evidence points to possible intrinsic, cell autonomous differences in preadipocytes and adipocytes, as well as modulatory roles for sex steroids, the microenvironment within each adipose tissue, and developmental factors.
Yet despite the rich cultural diversity within this group—which together speaks more than languages, practices a wide variety of religions, and represents more than 50 ethnic groups—economic narratives often fall short of capturing the income and employment disparities that exist within it, particularly among AAPI women. It is past time to remedy that oversight, which has roots in racial, ethnic, and gender biases. Inthere were an estimated Together, these women represent almost 3.
There is rapid population growth for both groups all across the country, particularly in Western and Midwestern states. The coronavirus pandemic—the economic effects of which have disproportionately harmed women of color 5 —has only reinforced the importance of analyzing disparities along racial, ethnic, and gender lines.
Asian women have endured some of the harshest economic effects of this crisis, including shuttered businesses, ificant job losses, increased caregiving responsibilities, and much more. While data on NHOPI women are limited, it is likely that these women are experiencing many similar challenges during this crisis.
On top of economic distress, AAPI women have experienced alarming surges in racialized violence and harassment fueled by derogatory rhetoric and scapegoating of the AAPI community throughout the pandemic. Despite the unique experiences of this population, data on AAPI women in the United States are limited and fragmented at best. Intersectional analyses—by race and gender—require more granular data and can often be limited due to small sample sizes that make it difficult to draw reliable conclusions about the experiences of people belonging to distinct communities.
This can be especially challenging when assessing data for women belonging to different AAPI subpopulations. Using the limited available census and U. Bureau of Labor Statistics data, this issue brief provides a detailed overview of the economic state of AAPI women—from their labor force participation to their access to paid leave and child care—both before the coronavirus pandemic and, where possible, during the pandemic and economic recovery.
By examining the nuances within this frequently overlooked group, policymakers can better craft economic and other policies that are tailored and targeted to specific communities, not just a misleading aggregate.
Labor force participation rates hit a year low for Asians from March to April —the worst months of the coronavirus-induced recession—dropping to By Decemberlabor force participation rates saw some recovery, reaching Asian women fared slightly worse than women overall, whose labor force participation rate dropped to Labor force participation rate estimates for NHOPI women are only available on an annual basis and only for women ages 16 and older, beginning in Although a smaller segment of the population, Asian women experienced a larger drop in their employment during this time than did both women and men overall, who experienced a By Januaryslightly more than 4.
Due to inflation, this has led to a reduction in the buying power of those earning a minimum wage income. For example, the most common occupations among Indian women are software developers and physicians—two typically high-wage occupations—while the top occupations among Vietnamese women are manicurists and hairdressers, which are typically low-wage occupations.
These ificant differences in occupations have led to ificant disparities in median earnings among AAPI women by subpopulation. Moreover, as a result of intersecting gender and race biases, many AAPI women face a stubborn pay gap compared with white, non-Hispanic men. Earnings are vastly different among women belonging to different AAPI subgroups.
For example, from andTaiwanese women out-earned white, non-Hispanic men by 21 cents, on average, while Hmong women earned 40 cents less than white, non-Hispanic men in the same time frame. These wage gaps make it harder for AAPI women—including the Wage gaps can also lead many people to poverty. While official poverty data from the U. Census Bureau are not yet available, data show that 7. A Center for American Progress analysis of essential industries and occupations found that an estimated 27 percent of employed AAPI women are essential workers. Overall, the top industries among AAPI women range from health care and education to restaurant and food services.
In addition, AAPI women have been on the front lines during this crisis, working in health care as registered nurses and personal care aides as well as in the service sector as cashiers and retail salespersons.
Sex differences in human adipose tissues – the biology of pear shape
As described earlier, there is also ificant occupational diversity within the AAPI community: While the top job for Chinese women is ant or auditor, it is elementary or middle school teacher for Japanese women and registered nurse for Filipino and Korean women. The economic effects of the pandemic on women of all races have been on stark display since March In Januarythe unemployment rate for Asian women jumped again—from 6. The unemployment rate is a measure of the unemployed as a percentage of the labor force and thus does not count individuals who stopped looking for work altogether.
Assessment of monthly civilian labor force levels indicates that there werefewer Asian women in the labor force in January than there were in Februarybefore the pandemic. Access to paid leave and child care is essential to economic security; yet the United States is the only industrialized nation in the world without a guarantee of any paid leave for workers. In the absence of comprehensive paid family and medical leave, women, including AAPI women, often must accommodate caregiving and other unpaid obligations by reducing work hours, thereby lowering total earnings, or by leaving the labor force altogether.
The Family and Medical Leave Act FMLA of guarantees eligible workers 12 weeks of leave, or 26 weeks of leave to care for military service members; but this leave is unpaid. Just 53 percent of Asian workers are eligible for the FMLA, which is slightly lower than the eligibility rates for many other groups. Women are also disproportionately affected when child care is inaccessible, similarly risking jobs and career mobility to manage competing responsibilities. Half of Asian women live in child care deserts—areas where d child care supply is too low to effectively serve children and families—and child care access is a strong predictor of maternal employment.
The coronavirus pandemic has halted economic progress for the average worker. However, job losses have been particularly devastating in many of the industries that disproportionately employ AAPI women. While the wage gap between AAPI women and white, non-Hispanic men appears narrower than most other wage gaps, this statistic hides a more complicated, disparate reality when disaggregated across subpopulations. Given these factors, the economic status of AAPI women is less than certain.
The economic status of asian american and pacific islander women
It is essential that AAPI women and the subgroups that exist within this community are part of the broader economic narrative as the country seeks to recover from the pandemic and resultant recession. Policymakers must ensure that both immediate recovery efforts and future economic policies do not leave AAPI women behind; and this starts by understanding the diversity within this rapidly growing population. The author would like to thank Diana Boesch, Lorena Roque, and Areeba Haider for their insights and invaluable research assistance on this issue brief. To find the latest CAP resources on the coronavirus, visit our coronavirus resource.
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