Jobs Charted By State And Salary

July 10, 2014

Via: Flowing Data


The chart [above] shows what people do and what they get paid. These vary depending on where you live. Select a state in the drop-down menu, and use the slider to adjust the median annual salary.

Prominent industries in a state can say a lot about an area. Is there a lot of farming? Is there a big technology market? Couple the jobs with salary, and you also see where the money’s at. You see a state’s priorities.

For example, look at California. You see an increased prominence of farmworkers and laborers, whereas the farming, fishing, and forestry sector is nearly nonexistent in many other parts of the country. I expected a lot more in the midwest states, but relative to the other occupations in those states, the farming sector doesn’t seem that big from an employee perspective.

For a drastic change, switch to Washington, D.C., where people who work in the legal and business sectors are much more common. I realize it’s a comparison between a city and states, but whoa, that’s a lot of lawyers packed in one place.

Move the median salary up a bit, and you get a sense of overall salaries (and a correlating cost of living, kind of) as you check out different states.

Anyway, it’s an interesting first look at employment data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Where Are The Hardest Places To Live In The U.S.?

July 7, 2014

By: Alan Flippen
Via: The New York Times

Click for interactive version

Click for interactive version

Annie Lowrey writes in the Times Magazine this week about the troubles of Clay County, Ky., which by several measures is the hardest place in America to live.

The Upshot came to this conclusion by looking at six data points for each county in the United States: education (percentage of residents with at least a bachelor’s degree), median household income, unemployment rate, disability rate, life expectancy and obesity. We then averaged each county’s relative rank in these categories to create an overall ranking.

(We tried to include other factors, including income mobility and measures of environmental quality, but we were not able to find data sets covering all counties in the United States.)

The 10 lowest counties in the country, by this ranking, include a cluster of six in the Appalachian Mountains of eastern Kentucky (Breathitt, Clay, Jackson, Lee, Leslie and Magoffin), along with four others in various parts of the rural South: Humphreys County, Miss.; East Carroll Parish, La.; Jefferson County, Ga.; and Lee County, Ark.

We used disability — the percentage of the population collecting federal disability benefits but not also collecting Social Security retirement benefits — as a proxy for the number of working-age people who don’t have jobs but are not counted as unemployed. Appalachian Kentucky scores especially badly on this count; in four counties in the region, more than 10 percent of the total population is on disability, a phenomenon seen nowhere else except nearby McDowell County, W.Va.

Remove disability from the equation, though, and eastern Kentucky would still fare badly in the overall rankings. The same is true for most of the other six factors.

The exception is education. If you exclude educational attainment, or lack of it, in measuring disadvantage, five counties in Mississippi and one in Louisiana rank lower than anywhere in Kentucky. This suggests that while more people in the lower Mississippi River basin have a college degree than do their counterparts in Appalachian Kentucky, that education hasn’t improved other aspects of their well-being.

As Ms. Lowrey writes, this combination of problems is an overwhelmingly rural phenomenon. Not a single major urban county ranks in the bottom 20 percent or so on this scale, and when you do get to one — Wayne County, Mich., which includes Detroit — there are some significant differences. While Wayne County’s unemployment rate (11.7 percent) is almost as high as Clay County’s, and its life expectancy (75.1 years) and obesity rate (41.3 percent) are also similar, almost three times as many residents (20.8 percent) have at least a bachelor’s degree, and median household income ($41,504) is almost twice as high.

What Are You Going To Do With That Degree?

June 26, 2014

By: Karen Beard (Intro)

In recent years, the widespread availability of high speed internet access coupled with a proliferation of new technologies and the growth of transparency movements like the federal Open Government Initiative, have resulted in dramatic growth in data visualizations. In its broadest sense, the term applies to any pictorial representation of data including charts and infographics. But the true power of data visualization is best seen when the tools are applied to enormous data sets to reveal patterns that would otherwise be impossible to discern.

A new interactive data visualization from Ben Schmidt, an assistant professor of history at Northeastern University and core faculty at the NuLab for Texts, Maps, and Networks, is an example of this power. Schmidt’s flow diagram—presented under the heading “What are you going to do with that degree?”—visualizes employment and education data from the American Community Survey. The figure explores the relationships between college majors and professions.

In many cases, the data reflect the common wisdom that many people work in fields unrelated to their degree. For example, less than half of people employed as police officers have degrees in criminal justice. The visualization also highlights differences in employment outcomes between narrowly focused degrees and those that are more academic. As might be expected, career-specific degrees such as nursing and education, have more consistent outcomes while broader fields of study, like mathematics and communications, feed into a more disparate array of professions.
Additional data visualizations created by Mr. Schmidt can be found here.

How The Recession Reshaped The Economy, In 255 Charts

June 7, 2014

By: Jeremy Ashkenas and Alicia Parlapiano
Via: The New York Times

Five years since the end of the Great Recession, the economy has finally regained the nine million jobs it lost. But not all industries recovered equally. Each line below shows how the number of jobs has changed for a particular industry over the past 10 years. Scroll down to see how the recession reshaped the nation’s job market, industry by industry.

A Mixed Recovery

Industries in the health care and energy sectors grew substantially over the last five years, while jobs in real estate and construction continued to shrink. Industries that paid in the middle of the wage spectrum generally lost jobs. And while the economy overall is back to its pre-recession level, it hasn’t added the roughly 10 million jobs needed to keep up with growth in the working-age population.

More Bad — and Good — Jobs

Americans often lament the quality of jobs today, and some low-paying industries — like fast food, where annual average pay is less than $22,000 — are growing. But so are some high-paying sectors, such as consulting, computing and biotech.

The Medical Economy

The middle-wage industries that have added jobs are overwhelmingly in health care. Labs, home-care providers and dentist offices all pay between $18 and $29 an hour on average — and all have grown. But these gains have not offset losses in other middle-wage industries, such as airlines and construction.

A Long Housing Bust

Home prices have rebounded from their crisis lows, but home building remains at historically low levels. Overall, industries connected with construction and real estate have lost 19 percent of their jobs since the recession began — hundreds of thousands more than health care has added.

Made in America

Manufacturing has bounced back somewhat, adding 363,000 jobs since the recession ended. Labor-intensive industries that face global competition, like clothing production, fared worst, while higher-paying jobs in export-heavy industries, such as aerospace and medical equipment, have done better.

Black Gold Rush

While it took a hit from the recession, oil and gas extraction — and its associated jobs — have been booming, transforming economies in resource-rich places like West Texas and North Dakota. Many of these industries have average salaries above $70,000.

Digital Revolution

Bookstores, printers and publishers of newspapers and magazines have lost a combined 400,000 jobs since the recession began. Internet publishers — including web-search firms — offset only a fraction of the losses, adding 76,000 jobs. Electronic shopping and auctions made up the fastest-growing industry, tripling in employment in 10 years.

Grooming Boom

In the midst of recession, Americans held on to simple luxuries — for themselves and their pets. Nail salons, which made up one of the most resilient industries, were closely rivaled by pet boarding, grooming and training.

For interactive versions of the above and additional charts, view the full story here.

Restless America: State-to-State Migration In 2012

May 14, 2014

Posted By: Chris Walker
Via: Vizynary

Migration flows in the United States

Click here for interactive map.

Approximately 7.1 million Americans moved to another state in 2012. That’s over 2.2% of the U.S. population. The United States has a long history of people picking up and moving their families to other parts of the country, in search of better livelihoods. That same spirit of mobility, a willingness to uproot oneself, seems alive and well today based on the visualization of migration patterns above.

The visualization is a circle cut up into arcs, the light-colored pieces along the edge of the circle, each one representing a state. The arcs are connected to each other by links, and each link represents the flow of people between two states. States with longer arcs exchange people with more states (California and New York, for example, have larger arcs). Links are thicker when there are relatively more people moving between two states. The color of each link is determined by the state that contributes the most migrants, so for example, the link between California and Texas is blue rather than orange, because California sent over 62,000 people to Texas, while Texas only sent about 43,000 people to California. Note that, to keep the graphic clean, I only drew a link between two states if they exchanged at least 10,000 people.

I saw a few interesting things in this graphic:

• First, there are more people leaving California than there are arriving there. 566,986 people left the Golden State in 2012, for states like Texas, Nevada, Washington, and Arizona, presumably for the lower cost of living.
• New York also shows more people leaving than arriving. The most popular destination for New Yorkers is Florida. My hunch is that these are retirees. The next most popular destinations are New Jersey and Pennsylvania. More likely these folks are leaving pricey New York City for more affordable suburbs in neighboring states.
• Migrants are flocking to Florida. Interestingly the state contributing the most migrants to Florida is neighboring Georgia. Texas, New York, and North Carolina are the next largest contributors.
• Texas is the second-largest destination for migrants. Over 500,000 people moved to Texas in 2012. People tend to come from the Southeast, Southwest, and the West, with the biggest contributor being California. 62,702 Californians packed up and moved to the Lone Star state in 2012.
• Most people leaving DC tend to stay in the area, opting for Virginia or Maryland. The economy of DC, centered around the federal government, seems to discourage more distant migrations.
• The migrants who leave two very cold states, Maine and Alaska, have very clear preferences. Their most popular destinations are Florida and California.

Office And Administrative Support Occupations Make Up Nearly 16 Percent Of U.S. Employment, May 2013

April 11, 2014

Via: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

In May 2013, office and administrative support was the largest occupational group, making up nearly 16 percent of total U.S. employment. The next largest groups were sales and related occupations and food preparation and serving related occupations, which made up about 11 and 9 percent, respectively. Seven of the 10 largest occupations were in one of these three groups.

Click here for interactive version

The smallest occupational groups included legal occupations and life, physical, and social science occupations, each making up less than 1 percent of total employment in May 2013.

The highest-paying occupational groups were management, legal, computer and mathematical, and architecture and engineering occupations. Most detailed occupations in these groups were also high paying. For example, all 19 computer and mathematical occupations had average wages above the U.S. all-occupations mean of $46,440, ranging from $50,450 for computer user support specialists to $109,260 for computer and information research scientists.

The lowest-paying occupational groups were food preparation and serving related; farming, fishing, and forestry; personal care and service; building and grounds cleaning and maintenance; and healthcare support occupations. Annual mean wages for these groups ranged from $21,580 for food preparation and serving related occupations to $28,300 for healthcare support occupations. With few exceptions, the detailed occupations in these groups had below-average wages. For example, occupational therapy assistants and physical therapy assistants were the only healthcare support occupations with mean wages above the U.S. all-occupations mean.

Among 665,850 employed persons in the District of Columbia in May 2013, there were about 3,370 political scientists—accounting for 50.6 out of every 10,000 jobs in the District of Columbia. In all of the United States there were 5,570 political scientists employed out of a total of 132,588,810 employed people—meaning less than 1 (0.42) out of every 10,000 jobs in America were political scientists. The ratio that compares the concentration of employment in a defined area (in this case, the District of Columbia) to that of a larger area (the United States) is referred to by the Bureau of Labor Statistics as the “location quotient.”

Click here for interactive version

The location quotient of political scientists in the District of Columbia is 50.6 divided by 0.42 (the location quotient of political scientists in the United States), which equals about 120.5—indicating there are about 120.5 times as many political scientists per 10,000 total employed people in the District of Columbia as in the United States as a whole.

These data are from the Occupational Employment Statistics program. To learn more, see, “Occupational Employment and Wages — May 2013″ (HTML) (PDF), news release USDL-14-0528.