We hear the big unemployment number each month (currently 9.4%), and we all know someone who’s been unemployed for a while. But how bad is it really? Let’s say I lost my job tomorrow – how bad is it out there for someone just like me? (note: if you click on the links you can enter your own attributes)
Geography?: Washington DC traditionally has higher unemployment, but it looks like that trend might soon reverse?
Age?: That’s good news. Someone my age has a slight advantage.
Sex?: Wow. I didn’t see that coming. Men have been disproportionately affected by this recession.
If you don’t mind that the data is from 2009, you can select all of the above and also add in education using the NYT visualization below. So all together, someone like me only faces a 3.9% unemployment rate – versus, say, a 15-24 yr old black male with no college, who faces a 48.5% unemployment rate.
Another piece of the unemployment picture that doesn’t get much coverage is how different sectors are performing. Let’s take a look at jobs gained and lost since 2000 (note: this is in millions of jobs, not percent)
Manufacturing, construction, and retail have gotten clobbered, while government, health care, and education are about the only professions showing growth.
Well, I hope you found these tools enlightening and helped you understand that the one number they spend so much time talking about in the media doesn’t even begin to tell the whole story. If you want to dig further yourself, all of the raw data is available for download from the BLS.
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