Where Are the Jobs? is an interactive map of the number of jobs in the US using 2010 data from the Census Bureau’s Longitudinal Employer-Household Dynamics study (LEHD). The map divides job types into various categories including manufacturing and trade, professional services, healthcare, education and government, and retail, hospitality and other services. Each dot in the graph represents a job recorded through state unemployment insurance and federal jobs.
Each job type is color coded to show where certain jobs are clustered in various parts of the United States. The geographical job map covers approximately 96% of jobs in the United States. The graphic was created by a Harvard PhD student named Robert Manduca and was inspired by a racial dot map that showed ethnic diversity across the United States. Since jobs can be more concentrated than populations of people the map is useful for determining where the highest concentration of jobs is in cities across the country.
The map can be used to chart demographic information from census data to show where higher-income individuals live in relation to where their jobs are. This can be laid over a map of the more extensive parts of a city as well. For example, in New York City the map shows a high concentration of individuals who have high incomes living in expensive parts of town, like Manhattan. Lower paid jobs exist in areas like Brooklyn which is home to a lot of industry; Queens, meanwhile, is a diverse location as far as residents and jobs go.
Areas in Northern California have a high concentration of electronic and technology related jobs while manufacturing and industrial labor employment opportunities are decreasing more and more each year. Employment is highly concentrated is downtown city centers but, as the job map reveals, most jobs still exist outside of major cities. Certain suburban areas also reveal high concentrations of employment which is normal. Industrial centers, shopping malls and business parks can employ many people in a variety of sectors.
The map has some gaps as places like Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands aren’t covered. Additionally, Massachusetts data is also missing because that state hasn’t integrated its data into LEHD’s system. The data isn’t entirely inclusive; for instance, the four categories of job types exclude jobs that don’t fit those labels. Additionally, some federal jobs aren’t included because of security reasons and thus data in governmental centers like Washington, D.C. appear quite empty on the map. Overall, the map includes about 96% of civilian wage and salary jobs, per the estimate provided by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The importance of job map can be used to chart the rise and fall of employment in the United States. Understanding where jobs are, where they’ve been and where they are moving to is as important as brushing up a resume or writing a new cover letter. How we can quantify the jobs that exist in the United States today can potentially help us understand recessions, job movement, and where opportunities are for a variety of job sectors.
Mapping Every Single Job in the U.S. (2015, July 14). The Atlantic’s City Lab.