Unemployment in America, Mapped Over Time
We often hear about shifting unemployment rate at the national scale. It went up. It went down. It changes month-to-month. But unemployment is very regional, more common in some areas of the country than others. In many areas, unemployment rates remain relatively high despite the decreases in the national average.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates county-level unemployment on a monthly basis. You can also get annual averages that go back to 1990. In the animated map above, I used the datasets to show the shifts over the past few decades.
Watch out for the big shift between 2008 and 2011 — and then the decrease in unemployment leading up to the present.
Of course, this rise and fall is obvious through the national average, shown in the chart below.
While the line chart is more succinct, the map shows more complexity and feels more real.
- This was largely an excuse to try out the steps that David Sparks outlined to make his election map. BLS provides county estimates, so I interpolate to fill in the gaps and use basic linear transitions between years. As with all smoothing, this method has its advantages and disadvantages.
- I made the bulk of this video in R.
Become a member. Learn to visualize your data. Gain instant access to tutorials.Join Today
This is for people who want to learn to make and design data graphics. Your support goes directly to FlowingData, an independently run site.
What You Get
- Instant access to tutorials on how to make and design data graphics
- Source code and files to use with your own data
- In-depth courses on visualization in R
- Hand-picked links and resources from around the web
10 Best Data Visualization Projects of 2015
These are my picks for the best of 2015. As usual, they could easily appear in a different order on a different day, and there are projects not on the list that were also excellent.
Interactive: When Do Americans Leave For Work?
We don’t all start our work days at the same time, despite what morning rush hour might have you think.
How You Will Die
So far we’ve seen when you will die and how other people tend to die. Now let’s put the two together to see how and when you will die, given your sex, race, and age.