Poor Us: The Great Depression 2.0

May 18, 2009

Interactive Misery Map: Watch US jobs disappear before your eyes

June 2007June 2008 March 2009

A lot of people are unemployed, even 24-hour cable news anchors tell us that much; and we can turn to the internet to fill us in on the multi-million dollar Wall Street paydays that remain a fact of life. Still, while we’re told things are getting better, everyday people continue to tell stories of hardship. So how can we get a handle on the impact the recession is having on the nation? Slate’s recently updated interactive map of job loss across the country did the trick for me. The trio of images above provide national snapshots of employment –blue for job growth, red for job loss– in June 2007, June 2008 and March 2009 (updated last week using the latest figures ). For the record, the number of jobless claims — those drawn by workers collecting benefits for more than one week — rose 202,000 in the week ended May 2 to 6,560,000, the highest level since the government started keeping track in 1967.

When Did Your County’s Jobs Disappear?An interactive map of vanishing employment across the country, updated with the latest figures.
By Chris Wilson

The economic crisis, which has claimed more than 5 million jobs since the recession began, did not strike the entire country at once. A map of employment gains or losses by county tells the story of how those job losses first struck in the most vulnerable regions and then spread rapidly to the rest of the country. As early as August 2007, for example—several months before the recession officially began—jobs were already on the decline in southwest Florida; Orange County, Calif.; much of New Jersey; and Detroit, while other areas of the country remained on the uptick. Updated Thursday, May 14, 2009 The Slate map uses the Labor Department’s local area unemployment statistics for each county in America. Because the data are not seasonally adjusted for natural employment cycles throughout the year, the numbers you see show the change in the number of people employed compared with the same month in the previous year. Blue dots represent a net increase in jobs, while red dots indicate a decrease. The larger the dot, the greater the number of jobs gained or lost. Click the arrows or calendar at the bottom to see each month of data. Click the green play button to see an animation of the data.

h/t Creditslips

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