Mapping LA’s Unemployment Rates

map1As I eagerly await for my firm to finally stop threatening us and lay off whomever it is going to lay off (yay, capitalism!), I’m seeing so many others being “let go,” “asked to leave,” “[insert business-friendly euphemism for ‘You produce less than your cost’ here].”  With Forbes’s national layoff tracker looking like a twisted version of the Battlestar Galactica survivor count and the mainstream media’s frustratingly skewed coverage of the recession, I thought it would be interestingly sad to visualize unemployment rates close to home.  Using the California Employment Development Department’s statistics for LA County-area unemployment rates in January 2009, I did my best to geomap the relevant data with ZeeMap’s awesome mapping service.  The green markers represent cities where the unemployment rate is less than 5%; the yellow represent rates of 5-10%; the red represents 11-15%; and the grey represents cities with the most depressing statistic:  greater than 15% of its population unemployed.  Clicking on any marker in the legend removes that particular data set from the map.

I have two caveats about this.  First, I’m a complete novice at this geomapping thing, so I’m sure there are mistakes.  I used an online batch geocoder to obtain longitude and latitude data and spot-checked any cities that seemed off.  That said, I still may have missed some.  Second, this map is just a means of representing the EDD’s statistics.   As such, this map shares the same limitations as the original data.  These limitations are more thoroughly explained at the bottom of this page.

One thing I would like to do is to  add historical data from January 2007 or 2008.  Seeing the change in rates may more useful than the above map to fully appreciate the depth of the current crisis.  I’ll do this when I get a bit more time – for example, if and when I get laid off…

One Reply to “Mapping LA’s Unemployment Rates”

  1. I am so impressed by this…what a cool thing you did here. Thanks for putting it together.

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