Community, Headline

Indian Americans are the highest paid community in the US: Labor Dept. report

Big difference in money made by males and females in community, though.


Indian Americans are the highest paid Asian-Americans, according to a new U.S. Labor Department report. Full-time Indian American workers had median and average weekly earnings of $1,346 and $1,464, respectively. The group was followed by Japanese, Chinese, Korean and Filipino-Americans, respectively, the report said.

There was quite a difference between the sexes, though. Male Indian Americans had $1,500 as median weekly earnings, while females got $1,115 — a disparity of 26%. The least difference between sexes was 4% between male and female Japanese-Americans, who received $900 and $865, respectively, as median weekly earnings.

In general, Asian-American and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) had median and average weekly earnings of $969 and $1,183, slightly more than Whites who raked $900 and $1,090, respectively. Blacks and Hispanics earned the least. The former was paid $640 median and $809 average, while the latter earned $600 and $765, respectively.

The Wall Street Journal reported that the nearly 18 million Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders in the country have vastly different experiences with education, wages and the labor market, according to the report.

Their general success “can mask some really important differences in what’s going on within the subgroups,” said Keith Miller, a Labor Department economist and lead researcher on the study.

Some of the highlights of the report: last year, Filipinos working full time in the U.S. earned just 64% of the weekly median for Indians; native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders were unemployed at more than twice the rate of Japanese; just a third of Vietnamese had at least a bachelor’s degree compared with 60% of Koreans.

The report, released this month, is part of a White House initiative on the so-called “AAPI” community and updates information released in 2011 and 2014. It pulls back the curtain on a group composed of more than 50 distinct ethnicities speaking more than 100 languages.

The vast majority of the community—17.4 million—consists of non-Hispanic Asian-Americans. The other small portion of 560,000 is made up of non-Hispanic Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders. Collectively, they represent about 5.6% of the U.S. population and descend from, or were born in, countries in Southeast Asia, South Asia, East Asia and the Pacific Islands. Nearly two-thirds are foreign-born and California is home to most, or nearly one-third of the group’s total.

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