The 2019 Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) California Workers Survey, a landmark survey conducted jointly by PRRI and AAPI Data, provides a portrait of the working lives of AAPI Californians via a survey of 2,684 AAPI California residents. For the purposes of this study, respondents are classified as "working and struggling with poverty" if they meet two criteria: 1) They are currently employed either full or part-time or are unemployed but still seeking employment; and 2) They live in households that have an adjusted income that is 250% or less than the U.S. Census Bureau's Supplemental Poverty Measure, adapted for regional location in California.
Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) are an important and fast-growing part of the California workforce. They have been the fastest-growing racial groups in California since 2000, with immigration fueling much of the growth. Although statistical averages show that AAPIs as a whole exhibit relatively high levels of employment and earning power, this report reveals significant areas of concern. Like for the rest of the population, we find a state of "two Californias" among AAPIs—one where some AAPI workers report a great deal of financial stability and one in which other AAPI workers report significant financial insecurity and struggle. This report reflects the findings of the first comprehensive survey of AAPI California residents, with a special focus on those who are working and struggling with poverty. The report provides a broad portrait of their opinions and experiences.