Visual Economics – What the Recession Actually Looks Like

My friend posted this the other day. I’ve seen it before but it’s still as impressive seeing it again. I’ve been swept up in the difficulty of the economic times searching for work and working a little slight of hand with my bank account (trust me, this is not a complaint – in general, I manage to keep my chin up and my efforts moving forward) but one thing that has made this instability a little easier is knowledge that it’s not really me per se; this is a stagnation hitting the entire country.  We hear a lot about the numbers in news talk but I like when I get to see information visually (one of the reasons I like GIS – Geographic Information Systems, which allow you to express and manipulate data in visual form) – certain patterns are more visible, all the information can be seen at once, and it tends to be more striking. So this, dear readers, is what the recession looks like:

(a glossier, sharper version of this is available on the abc website, I just couldn’t embed it within this post)

To acclimate you – lighter colors mean lower unemployment rates, darker colors – reds, maroons, navy blues, blacks – mean higher rates of people without work, and on many accounts, it’s likely these are underestimated to some degree.

I am more heartened, regardless, as I see more listings for jobs than I did a year previous, even if the competition is still fierce. Certainly, most of this amounts to a big waiting game but in a lot of senses this has allowed me to re-prioritize some things and get more creative – both things unlikely to hurt in the long run. This seems to be happening on a country-wide level, as more people are spending time with their families. If you do an internet search, you can find many takes on what may also be considered the positives of this downturn in our pockets. I’m not trying to sugarcoat desperate times, but sometimes the ability to learn what truly fulfills us and the ability to cast of the rest can slip in with all the ugly stuff…


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