NEW DELHI: About 4.3 million immigrants are among the 20.5 million people residing in the US who have lost their jobs last month.
An analysis of the detailed statistics recently released by the US Bureau of Labour Statistics shows that it is the immigrant population which has significantly borne the brunt. The unemployment rate for immigrants (technically referred to as foreign-born) jumped to 16.5% in April 2020, from 2.7% in April, 2019 — a rise of 13.8 percentage points. For native-born (which would include children of Indian-origin parents, who obtained US citizenship on birth), it was a comparatively lower 10.6 percentage point increase to stand at 14% last month.
The number of immigrants rendered unemployed was 4.3 million, which is 455% higher if compared with the data of April 2019. Among the nativeborn, 18.2 million suffered job losses in April 2020, which is 295% higher than the figure in corresponding month in 2019.
The US administration defines foreign-born to denote those who are residing in US, but who were not US citizens at birth. Thus, foreign-born includes temporary workers (eg: H-1B holders), green card holders and also those who subsequently became US citizens.
According to the latest census survey, Indians constituted 5.92% of the total foreign-born population as of July 2018. While Indians would invariably figure among the immigrant population which faced job losses, it would be misleading to apply this ratio directly to the 4.3 million job loss among immigrants as the level of job losses varied from sector to sector. Hospitality, which was the most severely hit with job losses of 7.7 million does not employ as many Indians, as say the information technology sector. The data-set does not specifically cover immigrants of Indian origin, who are presumably classified under the broader category of Asians. The unemployment rate was 13.8% for Whites, 16.4% for African-Americans and 14.3% for Asians.