Fil-Am Consumers in the American Economy

10 12 2009

Not knowing what exactly to write for my next  blog entry, I coincidentally came across a news article archived at my office. I don’t recall the title of the article, but it is regarding the buying trends and power of the Filipino American community. It outlines the annual spending habits of Filipino Americans and how it can have a positive effect on the American economy.

On a my first examination of this article, this brought to light that the Filipino American may be overspending in the American economy. Yes, their flow of currency may be helpful to the economy, but what about their own personal well-being? Without any insight on what is being purchased and what happens to those items, I cannot know for sure whether it is frivolous spending or investments for themselves and their families. In the beginning of this Fall semester of Knowledge Activism, we extracted that most of our families that came from any foreign country, not just the Philippines, came to the United States with the promise of better job opportunities to provide for their families. If the money made here is not used for that purpose, have our ancestors immigrated in vain? We must continue their tradition of striving for better futures and descendants’ success.

I was, however, able to find a very similar article on the internet at the Asian Journal website:

http://www.asianjournal.com/fil-am-news/3-filamnews/1835-filipino-american-consumers-buying-power-is-886b-.html

This article opens to state that Filipino Americans spend the second most amount of money in the United States at $88.6 billion, second only to the Indian community. It also continues to note that Professor Antonio Villegas Jr, interestingly of the University of San Francisco, researched heavily across the country to contribute to this observation. I feel the notable pieces of information are the following:

“Filipino Americans have the highest employment rate at 68.9 percent compared to 64.8 percent overall nationwide”.  This is important to infer that many Filipino Americans who are spending money may have the resources allowing them to do so. However, 68.9% still seems like a low employment rate, only 4.1% above the average employment of the country.

“About 5.5 percent of Filipino Americans live below the poverty line compared to 13 percent nationwide”.  This later statistic helps to separate 94.5% of Filipino Americans as having the ability to be spending their money. However, The poverty line may not necessarily match up with the needs and living expenses of the areas they live in.

The article also accounts for the effect of mainstream media, such as movies, mainlining Filipino or Filipino American talent and themes. They say that companies that do so have greatly benefited from it, and, “tapping the Filipino American market may be the way out of the recession for some companies.” Hopefully, it can be the case for Filipino Americans making improvements in both the American and Filipino economies.

-Arnie

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