Department of Labor Logo United States Department of Labor
Dot gov

The .gov means it's official.
Federal government websites often end in .gov or .mil. Before sharing sensitive information, make sure you're on a federal government site.

Https

The site is secure.
The https:// ensures that you are connecting to the official website and that any information you provide is encrypted and transmitted securely.

Asians and Native Hawaiians and Other Pacific Islanders in the labor force

May 12, 2023

In honor of Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, we take a closer look at some national employment statistics for Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders. BLS has been collecting data in the on the labor market characteristics of people who identify their race as Asian or Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander since 2003.

In 2022, Asian Indians made up the largest number of Asian Americans in the civilian labor force at 2.7 million, followed by Chinese at 2.4 million. There were 744,000 Native Hawaiians and Other Pacific Islanders in the labor force in 2022, as well as 732,000 Koreans and 500,000 Japanese.

Number of Asians and Native Hawaiians and Other Pacific Islanders in the civilian labor force, 2022 annual averages
Ethnicity 2022

Asian Indian

2,711,000

Chinese

2,400,000

Other Asian

1,913,000

Filipino

1,593,000

Vietnamese

1,072,000

Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander

744,000

Korean

732,000

Japanese

500,000

The labor force participation rate—the percentage of the population that is employed or unemployed—is generally higher for Asians and for Native Hawaiians or Other Pacific Islanders than the U.S. average. The ratio in 2019 was 64.0 percent for Asians and 68.4 percent for Native Hawaiians or Other Pacific Islanders, above the national average of 63.1 percent for those 16 years and older. The participation rates for most groups declined sharply in 2020 with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. The labor force participation rate for Asian Americans had fully recovered by 2022, while the rate for Native Hawaiians and Other Pacific Islanders, at 66.6 percent, had not yet reached its pre-pandemic rate.

Labor force participation rates of Asians and Native Hawaiians and Other Pacific Islanders, 2015–22 annual averages
Ethnicity 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022

Asian

62.8 63.2 63.6 63.5 64.0 62.7 63.8 64.5

Asian Indian

66.0 67.8 68.4 68.9 68.3 67.5 69.6 70.2

Chinese

59.9 58.4 60.1 61.0 61.9 62.1 63.3 61.8

Filipino

68.1 68.0 66.3 65.2 65.9 61.8 63.8 65.2

Japanese

56.0 58.3 55.4 55.5 57.4 58.3 55.6 57.2

Korean

58.8 59.5 61.7 60.2 61.4 60.1 57.8 62.7

Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander

66.6 68.7 67.0 68.5 68.4 66.7 66.9 66.6

Other Asian

62.2 63.4 63.1 62.7 63.4 63.0 63.1 64.3

Vietnamese

62.9 62.8 64.6 63.6 62.6 58.3 61.6 62.1

These data are from the Current Population Survey. We also have more information on labor force characteristics by race and ethnicity and geographic profiles.

SUGGESTED CITATION

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Asians and Native Hawaiians and Other Pacific Islanders in the labor force at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2023/asians-and-native-hawaiians-and-other-pacific-islanders-in-the-labor-force.htm (visited April 13, 2024).

OF INTEREST
spotlight
Recent editions of Spotlight on Statistics


triangle