Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Economic Well-Being: Tools to Map the State of the Economy

The impact of the recession on individuals, families and communities is reflected across a broad range of economic indicators including unemployment rates, foreclosures, bankruptcy and child poverty. While the recession has affected the entire nation each community, state and local government faces unique challenges. For example, in the case of unemployment, although the national unemployment rate, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, is 9.7%, the rate in Imperial County, CA is significantly higher (27.7%) while Cache County, UT has a much lower rate (4.4%). According to the New York Times, job-loss has affected men more than women nationwide. Also, while states have unemployment insurance funds - some states’ trust funds are depleted while other states have solvent funds. Understanding the ways that the recession is uniquely affecting state and local governments, communities and individuals can lead to more responsive policy solutions and community initiatives. There are several resources available online to map various indicators of the recession’s impact in states, counties and cities.

Create maps, graphs and ranking reports on economic well being (and a host of other issues) using the new Data Center at Kids Count.

Map unemployment, foreclosure, and bankruptcy by state and county using the Associated Press's Economic Stress Index .

Review unemployment rates by state and county on The New York Times’ Geography of a Recession Tool .

Map delinquency rates for mortgages and loans using the Federal Reserve’s U.S. Credit Conditions Tool.

Map the impact of foreclosures in your community with the HotPads’ Forclosure Tool.

Map state unemployment insurance with ProPublica’s Unemployment Insurance Tracker.

Policies to Support Family Economic Success

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