Thursday, October 22, 2009

Mapping the Economic Mess

The Geography of Jobs is a highly informative animated map that "provides a striking visual of employment trends over the last business cycle using net change in jobs from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics on a rolling 12-month basis."

"The timeline begins in 2004 as the country starts its recovery from the 2001 recession, following the bursting of the dot-com bubble. At first, broad economic growth was apparent across most of the country. Two notable exceptions are the Bay Area — the hub of the tech boom that drove job growth during the prior decade — and several metropolitan areas within the Midwest. The map reveals that much of the industrial Midwest never fully recovered from the previous recession, as manufacturers continue to shed jobs while other parts of the country were adding them in large number."

Go here to view the map.

Thanks to Haskell Community Center's Jim Holbel for passing this along.


  1. Watching the red dots multiply and grow when the automatic slider reached 2009, scared the shit out of me.

  2. Gordy, why do you refer to Haskell Community Center in this article. Is it re-opened? No Flint landmark typifies the old neighborhood more than Haskell. It was the center of our childhood activities, regardless of which decade we grew up in. All these years later, I can still remember most of the paths that wound thru the woods and where they came out. I remember actual plays and evening programs held at the raised earthen stage, just inside of the woods, west of the pool.

  3. Like bombs going off.

    And I mentioned Haskell because Jim once lived across the street from it.

  4. Here's a similar job-geography map from Slate, with all counties shown, but with data from only 2006 forward.

    I think both of these show job losses compared to a year earlier, on a rolling one-year-aggregate basis. Thus neither is informative regarding structural job loss.

    Maybe it would be preferable to start with an earlier baseline, say 1978, and look at total jobs compared to the baseline. Thus structural changes would be revealed, rather than short term variations.

  5. Wouldn't it be nice if the map showed Mexico?? I bet there would be lots of green to offset Michigan's red! ugh!


Thanks for commenting. I moderate comments, so it may take a while for your comment to appear. You might enjoy my book about Flint called "Teardown: Memoir of a Vanishing City," a Michigan Notable Book for 2014 and a finalist for the 33rd Annual Northern California Book Award for Creative NonFiction. Filmmaker Michael Moore described Teardown as "a brilliant chronicle of the Mad Maxization of a once-great American city." More information about Teardown is available at