Sunday, January 31, 2010

US unemployment animation shows relative strength in NH

I stumbled on this neat animation that visualizes changes in unemployment rates across the country during the recession (hat tip: Coordination Problem blog).

As the animation completed, I was struck by how New Hampshire was pretty much alone in the northeast as a lone bright spot (mostly bright red, indicating a 5-6% rate) in a sea of dark red and purple across much of the rest of the country.

Unfortunately, new data released last week show the overall NH rate has increased to 7.0%. That's still well below the US average unemployment rate of 10%, but it moves most of the state from bright red to dark red or even purple in the animation.

One other thing from the animation that struck me was how well the midwestern farm states seem to be faring in this downturn. That shouldn't be surprising, since demand for agricultural products usually holds up better than demand for durable goods in a recession. Still, seeing all that bright yellow spread across the farm-belt really drove it home for me.

I did a bit of googling in search of a midwestern viewpoint (rather than a granite one) and I stumbled on this article by Sharon Schmickle at It provides some local color on the employment and economic situation in the farm-belt region.

As an aside, has an interesting new-media business model. They're a non-profit web-only publication staffed by professional journalists doing feet-on-the-ground reporting:


  1. NH "unemployment" is an interesting beast. It would be interesting to see a New Hampshire-only graphic that (x) is granular down to counties and maybe even cities and towns (compare Coos County and Groveton, eg, with southern tier), (y) picks up the key broader categories of the folks who are not working (eg, "marginally attached to the labor force") but are very much "unemployed" in common-sense-speak, and (z) presents time-series information. There are many very distinct data sets if you disaggregate "New Hampshire"...

  2. How about writing an analysis of the proposed Northern Pass transmission line from Quebec to, and through, NH?


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.