Where did the jobs go? War map shows all

unemployedNo matter where you've lived in the United States during the past two years, you've seen the recession in some form.

With the national unemployment rate rising from 4.7% two years ago to 9.8% today, chances are you've lost a job or know someone who has.
To see how widespread the loss of jobs is across the country, Tip Strategies, Inc., an economic development consulting firm in Austin, Texas, has come up with an online animated map showing how jobs have come and gone on a rolling, 12-month basis from January 2004 to July 2009.

As the number of jobs gained in green disappear and red circles grow to depict the number of jobs lost, the map slowly turns into what looks like red bombs dropping on metropolitan areas. Play it from start to finish and you'll see what I mean.

As it ends for the 12 months ending in July, it looks like a bad video game where jobs are annihilated.

Boom! Gone are 240,100 jobs in Los Angeles. Crash! Chicago loses 206,200 jobs. Red alert! New York loses 157,899 jobs.

It's ugly, and is telling in that none of the 100 largest metro areas in the latest figures from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows jobs being gained. The map is loaded with red dots.

Roll back to the start of the recession in December, 2007, and jobs are being gained in New York, Houston, Dallas-Fort Worth and Seattle, among other dots of green. But red dots are starting to appear, with Detroit being the biggest loser with 36,400 jobs lost in the 12 months ending that month.

It's a fun, interactive map to play around with and see where the jobs came and went over the past five years. It will be a lot more fun when the big red dots disappear and are replaced by green ones.

Aaron Crowe is a freelance journalist in the San Francisco Bay Area. Reach him at www.AaronCrowe.net

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