This Animated Map Shows U.S. Unemployment Over Time (1990-2016)
May 18, 2017
When we are talking about the unemployment rate as a barometer for the health of the economy, it’s most commonly the national figure that gets referenced.
U.S. Unemployment Over Time (1990-2016)
Historically, on a national level, an unemployment rate in the 4-6% range is generally considered “good”, while higher rates that fall within the 8-10% range are “bad”. Higher rates are usually only seen during times of recessions or crisis, when people around the country are struggling to find work.
But, as you’ll see in today’s animated map, unemployment rates at the regional level are a very different thing. Today’s map, which comes to us from FlowingData, shows the disparity of unemployment rates in the U.S. based on county estimates, and how they have their own ebbs and flows.
The Impact of a Crisis
The most noticeable element of the animation is the “spread” of unemployment as a crisis hits.
For reference, here’s the map during 1999 – which is around when income peaked for most Americans.