Visualizing Industry Job Losses

Sunday, we discussed the ratio of unemployed to job openings hitting a record level. As noted in the NYT, the carnage has been widespread across many industries:

“Shrinking job opportunities have assailed virtually every industry this year. Since the end of 2008, job openings have diminished 47 percent in manufacturing, 37 percent in construction and 22 percent in retail. Even in education and health services — faster-growing areas in which many unemployed people have trained for new careers — job openings have dropped 21 percent this year. Despite the passage of a stimulus spending package aimed at shoring up state and local coffers, government job openings have diminished 17 percent this year.”

Today, I wanted to direct your attention to a visualization of that, showing where those unemployed persons came from, via Many Eyes. Perhaps this helps to explain why the number of openings remains relatively low: Firms are still reducing headcount (nice euphemism), and not yet hiring.

Many Eyes allows you to upload a data set, and create your own visualization. It is a very cool tool, from IBM’s Collaborative User Experience, part of the Watson Research Center.

You can change this to sector, company, etc. Scroll over the bubbles to see the exact numbers laid off in each firm:

click for interactive chart
laid off visualization


Layoffs in the United States and more
Many eyes, 3/6/09

U.S. Job Seekers Exceed Openings by Record Ratio
NYT, September 26, 2009

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