Unemployment, by County & City

Interesting map, brought to my attention by Kevin from Calgary, showing unemployment in the United States, broken down by County.

click for larger map:


Poking around BLS, I came across another map — Unemployment rates by Metropolitan area:

click for larger map:


Surprisingly, some of the hotter Real Estate markets show less robust Emploment levels; It makes me wonder if the bifurcation we’ve seen in Retail (Wal-Mart vs. Tiffanys) also is applicable to Real Estate.

I wonder if we are becoming a country divided — not so much into the "Haves" and "Have-Nots," but more subtly, into "Have-Mores" and "Have-Less." 

It may be that the middle class is just a temporary, post-WW2 phenomena. Just a thought . . . .


Unemployment, by County

Unemployment, by Metropolitan Area

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  1. Duckbill Platypus commented on Jul 11

    “It may be that the middle class is just a temporary, post-WW2 phenomena.”

    The middle class looks to me like a stage of capitalism as we currently practice it. After the war, the government set out to strengthen the middle class. It created social insurance as a fall back position; meanwhile, there were jobs for people who weren’t over educated egg-heads like us all around the country. Manufacturing jobs.

    Without big changes in global economic policy actions among leading nations — changes that *guide* capitalism away from it’s most pernicious effects — the middle class in the U.S. will be gone for good. China and India get capitalism’s middle class (i.e. the manuf. economy) now. If you’re in the U.S., you better be rich in the long run, because health care and college aren’t getting cheaper. So what if microwave ovens are getting cheaper?

    A decent life for a majority of U.S. citizens still looks like it might be a working propositon today, (“hey, things aren’t that bad, job creation was up this month!”) but if current trends continue, it’s ominous.

  2. I Love Everything commented on Jul 11

    Real Estate bubble bust may be worse than Dot Com bubble bust

    The Big Picture has been talking about the development of the housing bubble for a couple of years now (and it’s also a pretty great all-around econ blog.)

  3. observer commented on Jul 11

    I don’t think that an economic middle class (personal perception is another matter) is going to go away. The system self corrects.

    Radical rightists have made the coming correction more severe with their class warfare, but I think it will be within the usual parameters of the system. Overpriced stocks, real estate and other storers of wealth will decline at some point, this is markets. Deficits must be addressed, the larger the number of people who are pushed down the greater the need for spending, the result will higher taxes and the political pressures will push them on the rich. Republicans imagine that some individual who has lost health insurance, had a defacto paycut and just spent $300 on a doctor will be so delighted with markets that they will passionately embrace more tax cuts so that those doctors can go into their traditionally stupid investment (lists of doctors are sold among con artists,) but it doesn’t work that way.

    The base of markets is self interest, will defined markets encourage self enlightened self interest and automatic, rather than organizational corrections. But we’ve never had ideal markets, politics and something akin to unions will reallocate if this trend continues. The purer markets will do so by taking a chunk of the wealth that Bush thought he gave the rich.

    It’s sad in a lot of respects because the Republican choice was to encourage the flawed perception of social relations that encouraged us againt them, worker versus owner simplified economic models rather than more sophisticated models that showed the integration, codependancy, coevolution of various legitimate forces. Bush has chosen to strengthen the paradigm of “corporations as greedy thieves who rob of,” of markets as forces of manipulation rather than tools to strengthen simplistic leftism.

    Just as he chose to massively raise taxes in a manner that will probably be more destructive by pushing the taxes for current purchases into the future, a future in which basic collective needs are likely to show some increase. Bush has been crude socialisms best friend.

  4. astrogirl60 commented on Jul 11

    If your musings about the middle class being a largely post-World War II phenomenon prove correct, I hope our leaders will make the connection between free college education and prosperity. After the World War II vets came home, they were given the opportunity to study for gratis. I assume a lot of these men wouldn’t have gone to college otherwise.
    I was struck by the recent New York Times op-ed piece commenting on the role free college graduation has played in Ireland’s flip-flop from the sick man of Europe to the rich man. And everybody knows that India has been pouring money into technical education for years. And it’s paying off. Of course, there are lots of other variables that set the stage for widespread prosperity — like low taxes, free trade, and a competitive currency value. But let’s not discount the importance of free education to qualified individuals.

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