02 March 2011

Two Different Maps of the Economic Downturn

A friend posted a random question on Facebook earlier, and I wound up doing a bit of unintended research into business closings today as a result. Put together a couple of interesting thematic maps as a result. (H/T Deanna McMillan)

First, a map showing the percent change in total number of employees between the second quarter of 2007 and the same period in 2010:

The only state in the contiguous US to add jobs in that three year period was North Dakota. And yet, I haven't heard of any land rush in Grand Forks. (Alaska also created 994 jobs in this time, a .39% growth, while Hawaii lost 9.75% of it's workforce.) As you can see, most of the rest of the country has taken a licking.

Secondly, and much more interesting to me, is the percent change in total number of "establishments". The Bureau of Labor Statistics defines an "establishment" as "an economic unit, such as a farm, mine, factory, or store that produces goods or provides services."

A broad classification, to be sure. I would venture that Louisiana is an outlier, and that much of the growth is related to businesses reopening post-Katrina. But I don't think it's any coincidence that states like Wisconsin, Indiana & New Jersey, which lost workplaces, are going after businesses in Illinois, which actually gained. Furthermore, this map would seem to indicate to me that despite current budget woes, Illinois and California would seem to be on the right trajectory for creating new jobs, while the South and Inland West may be in for an extended period of stagnation. Only time will tell, of course, but interesting to consider.

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