Workforce Developments contributor Bryan Lundeen of the Solano County Workforce Investment Board writes about technology and its uses in workforce development - and much more - on his blog, World of Big Bry. Earlier this year he wrote about Google's very cool tool that makes unemployment data graphs available within just a few clicks.
Now, if Google could just do the same thing for the WIA entered employment rate, earnings and retention data....
Google makes it easy to see the unemployment rateWhere is the current unemployment rate in comparison to five years ago? Or ten? In comparison to other states and counties?
In California, EDD publishes a "monthly data release" which shows current unemployment rates and states on their website. "Each month the EDD releases revised and preliminary civilian labor force, unemployment rates, and industry employment by geography for California, metropolitan areas, counties, and sub-county areas." This data can be useful to job seekers, their coaches, and workforce development staff that try to follow trends in unemployment. However, like a lot of "useful data" found on the internet, it can be difficult to understand. One way to do that is to show statistics in comparison to other statistics.
This month, Google started making searching for public data much easier. Go to Google and in the box type your state, and the phrase unemployment rate. For example: South Dakota unemployment rate.
The first result that shows up is a small thumbnail graph of the unemployment rate of that state. Then click on the link for that statistic and you will find a search application that graphs all the states and counties in the U.S. based on statistics from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Click the little plus sign next to your state too see counties.
Let us say you want to show someone the comparison of rates between Hughes County and Meade County. Make a check mark in each of the boxes next to the county name in the list under South Dakota. You should see a graph like this one:
If there are other lines from other counties displayed you can uncheck those. Then up the in the upper right hand corner of the graph you will see the word Link. Click that and a little box will open that gives you the link to that graph.
Just brainstorming here: what uses can we find for this?
- Make a decision on where you want to commute?
- Maybe you want to move and know what the unemployment rate compares to other cities?
- You are a One-Stop and you want to design an information dashboard for your clients?
- You are a job coach and you want to market to cities that have higher unemployment rates than where you usually market?
What other uses can you find for this data?
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