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Working Paper, No. 2023-10, March 2023 Crossref
The Labor Market Impact of Covid-19 on Asian Americans

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.

Working papers are not edited, and all opinions and errors are the responsibility of the author(s). The views expressed do not necessarily reflect the views of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago or the Federal Reserve System.

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