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. Support an independent site. Make great charts.Join Now
Learn the process of making, designing, and exploring 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 how to make great charts
- Hand-picked links to tools and resources
- Members-only newsletter
Graphical perception – learn the fundamentals first
Before you dive into the advanced stuff – like just about everything in your life – you have to learn the fundamentals before you know when you can break the rules.
Divorce and Occupation
Some jobs tend towards higher divorce rates. Some towards lower. Salary also probably plays a role.