This awesome map lets you zoom in on all the jobs in the U.S.
A Harvard Ph.D. candidate has been ambitiously charting out employment in America.
Where exactly are all of the jobs in the United States? Are they clustered within the confines of major cities, or do they exist primarily on the outskirts, more toward major highways and minor suburbs?
To figure out the answers to these questions—and others—Harvard University sociology and social policy Ph.D student Robert Manduca recently developed an interactive map of the country entitled “Where Are The Jobs?”
Using U.S. Census Longitudinal Employer-Household Dynamics data, Manduca charted every single job in the country, pinpointing each one with a single dot. The dots are color coded by industries: Red is manufacturing and trade; blue is professional services; green is health care, education and government; yellow is retail, hospitality and other services.
The visualization operates like a Google Maps screen, giving the user the ability to zoom way in on a single city’s employment spread and zoom way out to get a holistic view of U.S. employment.
“If you zoom way out to the national level it looks almost exactly like a population map,” Manduca says. “But when you zoom in it looks really, really different in a lot of ways.”
What the map shows
Manduca drew his inspiration from the now-famous “Racial Dot Map” created by Dustin A. Cable of University of Virginia, which used Census data to pinpoint where different races lived.
But the two maps are very different, Manduca says—noting that his is nearly the inverse of the work that inspired it.
“There will be these holes in the [Racial Dot] map and those are the areas that have office buildings or factories,” he says.
Take St. Louis for example. There are massive clusters of jobs in the downtown area, but jobs are also clustered near major interstate highways and other main roads, places people are less likely to live.
Same goes for Denver, where there are huge pockets of jobs in the city—particularly in the “manufacturing and trade” sector—but also all along Interstate 70.
Manduca says he beta-tested his map against his own experiences growing up in Rochester, Minnesota. In his home city, he says, the major employers are Mayo Clinic and IBM. And compared against his knowledge, the data was spot on.
“I noticed a bright green (healthcare) downtown, which is the Mayo Clinic and red patches (manufacturing) on the outskirts which is IBM,” he says.
How to use the map in your search
So what can a job seeker take away from Manduca’s map?
“[Job seekers] can look graphically to see which parts of town are likely to have a lot of employment and focus there,” he says.
Manduca, who specializes in urban planning, says it’s also important for a job candidate to consider that nearby jobs may be more accessible than what one might assume.
“If there are some districts that have a lot of possibility,” he says, “it’ll be important to get be able to get to those and have access via transit or car.”
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