Visualization of the Week: Mapping U.S. Job Losses

The Geography of Jobs charts U.S. jobs gained and lost from 2004 to the present.

The U.S. observed the Labor Day holiday this week, which means pundits and politicians alike were apt to talk about jobs. The news on the jobs front hasn’t been good lately, most recently with a report from the Labor Department indicating no jobs growth and revising figures from earlier months to paint a pretty grim picture for the unemployment rate. That rate now hovers around 9.1%.

TIP Strategies has recently released an updated version of its Geography of Jobs visualization, an animated map that makes job stats even more striking — and dour. Based on data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the map provides a historical timeline — starting in 2004 — of regions where jobs have been added and lost.

Geography of Jobs visualization
Screen from the Geography of Jobs. See the full interactive visualization.

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  • Dave

    Does Strata really want to put this forward as an excellent data graphic? So many problems with it. Are the big circle blobs supposed to represent the total area where all those jobs were lost or is it just the center of the circle that is the geographic point of interest? And how many articles, presentations, books have to be written about why using areas to represent quantities in graphics are bad ideas.

  • Wayne

    I agree with @Dave.

    Terrible Data Vis, and bad decision to post it on Strata.

  • Jon

    The legend clearly states that the bubbles represent metro areas. If you hover over the bubble, the metro area is identified, as are the job gains/losses.