The Geography of a Recession

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The NYT had a killer, interactive map of the recession. Must click and play.

6 thoughts on “The Geography of a Recession

  1. I’d like to see the same map with the %change, rather than the overall levels of unemployment. Some of the areas, for example, in Alaska, have very high unemployment, but it looks like a chronic situation, not one specifically related to the gloom and doom (“great recession”) or, if you prefer, liverwurst.

  2. “Some of the areas, for example, in Alaska, have very high unemployment, but it looks like a chronic situation, not one specifically related to the gloom and doom (“great recession”) or, if you prefer, liverwurst.”
    It would be nice to have an overlay for Indian reservations, for instance. Arizona is very hard hit by the housing stuff, but I took a quick look at a map of Arizona Indian reservations, and that dark spot over Arizona covers a lot of Bureau of Indian Affairs land.

  3. The huge line of really low unemployment in the heavily caucasian but poor areas running from Texas to North Dakota was surprising to me. Is it an example of Republican anti-labor values, where there are lots of jobs available, but they are all crappy jobs?

  4. I grew up about in the middle of that that line of low unemployment and see from the map that unemployment in my old area is below 3%. I remember a fair bit of poverty around when I was growing up, but I can’t recall a single unemployed adult male or single female who wasn’t either elderly, obviously disabled, or alcoholic. Wages were not high, but I recall being able to earn $5/hour (at a time when the minumum wage was about $3) as a teenager in 1989 solely on the basis of being able to lift things and a demonstrated willingness to show-up on time. My high school classmates who had relevant skills and/or greater physical strength were earning quite a bit more. These jobs
    It is true that these are not union-friendly areas. For example, in Nebraska it is illegal to have a closed-shop. But there really isn’t that much out there that could be unionized under prevaling models of labor organization. Most farmers work for themselves or in an enterprise with only a couple of employees where the owner is working right along side the employees and it is quite likely that everybody involved is related. The only private sector large-scale employers I can think of are packing houses and hog farms, and most of the bigger ones of those are a bit further east.
    I would guess the low unemployment rate stems from very low population density and the dominance of agriculture. Farmers just lose money, not their jobs, and in the past few years prices have been relatively. Even if a farm goes under (which has not been happening on a large scale since the 80s), somebody still farms the land. The area has been bleeding jobs due to improved machinery since at least the 50s, but you can only mechanize so much. And the very low population means that a few people leaving (as the young have been inclined to do for decades) will drop the unemployment rate.
    As for whether or not they are crappy jobs, I always thought farming was a crappy job, but lots of people are very willing to do it. Those that aren’t will go away to college or the military.

  5. Some time before, I needed to buy a car for my business but I didn’t have enough money and could not buy anything. Thank heaven my fellow proposed to get the loan from reliable creditors. So, I did so and was happy with my small business loan.

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