Geography of Jobs

I found a link to this visualization on The Big Picture, one of the economic blogs I follow in Google Reader. It is very sobering watching this and see the huge job losses in late 2008 and 2009 and the trickle of jobs added since.

I thought of this when my wife was ranting about listening to a Marketplace report on VPR that had a conservative talking about how extending unemployment benefits is keeping people out of the workforce because they don’t need to look for work. This is nonsense. According to former Labor Secretary Robert Reich, “for every current job opening, four people are still looking for a job.”

Unemployment benefits are not enough to support a family and doesn’t provide health insurance coverage.

But our media keeps allowing these talking points to be regurgitated over and over without comment or questioning.

I guess it’s my turn to rant.

Please watch this, it will help you understand the current unemployment picture and why a new program to create jobs is so important – and why slashing federal and state budgets is foolish.

Note also the job losses associated with Katrina in 2005. It took a year for job growth to start in NOLA afterwards.

On a related geographical note – I listened to a fascinating discussion about geography on Vermont Edition featuring two professors – one from St. Michael’s College and one from Middlebury College – talk about the work that they are doing. The Middlebury professor worked on a project to create a 3D map of the Gettysburg battlefield as it was in 1863. Based on this map it was clear that General Lee could not see the masses of Union troops that had moved in from the North, which led to his defeat on the battlefield. If you find maps and geography interesting, give it a listen.

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I write about nutrition, health, food-related issues and spirituality at Whole Food-Whole Life.

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