Skip Navigation

Close and don't show again.

Your browser is out of date.

You may not get the full experience here on National Journal.

Please upgrade your browser to any of the following supported browsers:

One 'Spider Chart' That Explains the Jobs Recovery One 'Spider Chart' That Explains the Jobs Recovery

This ad will end in seconds
 
Close X

Not a member? Learn More »

Forget Your Password?

Don't have an account? Register »

Reveal Navigation
 

 

Economy

One 'Spider Chart' That Explains the Jobs Recovery

photo of Catherine Hollander
January 11, 2013

The jobs market is far from healed. But just how far?

The Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta is experimenting with a new way to show the progress of the recovery. The unemployment rate grabs headlines every month, but the health of the labor market also hinges on things like the number of people who quit their jobs or who work part-time, and how many employers say they anticipate hiring in the next three months. 

So the Atlanta Fed cooked up a way to look at a number of parts of the labor market in one handy graphic, which they've dubbed a "spider chart" (below). The inner yellow circle represents the fourth quarter of 2009, when the jobs recovery was just starting. The dark-red outer ring represents the levels of different variables at the beginning of the recession in the fourth quarter of 2007. The closer each dot progresses up a spoke from the inner to the outer ring, the more that indicator has healed. 

 

Leading indicators, so named for their propensity to change before other economic variables, such as the initial claims for unemployment benefits, are much closer to their pre-recession levels than the unemployment rate, for example.

There are some caveats. The Atlanta Fed notes that the chart is "very much a work in progress." It's not clear that fourth-quarter 2007 levels are the best benchmarks of success for all of the variables. And spider charts aren't useful for monitoring the labor market over the long run because some variables can't grow indefinitely while others can. 

Still, it's a neat way to visualize where we've come from and where we're headed.

Job Board
Search Jobs
Transportation Planner
American Society of Civil Engineers | Salinas, CA
Biomedical Service Internship Position
American Society of Civil Engineers | Flint, MI
Fire Sprinkler Inspector
American Society of Civil Engineers | Charlotte, NC
Deputy Director of Transit Operations
American Society of Civil Engineers | San Jose, CA
Structural Engineer
American Society of Civil Engineers | New Haven, CT
Assessment and Remediation Team Lead
American Society of Civil Engineers | Regina, SK
Professional Development Program Engineer
American Society of Civil Engineers | Farmington Hills, MI
Assistant Professor - Water Resources/Ecological Engineering
American Society of Civil Engineers | Auburn, AL
Quality Systems Manager
American Society of Civil Engineers | Greensboro, NC
Rail Field Construction Inspector
American Society of Civil Engineers | Jacksonville, FL
Manager, Quality Assurance
American Society of Civil Engineers | Memphis, TN
Sr. Controls Systems Engineer
American Society of Civil Engineers | Grand Island, NE
Quality Engineer
American Society of Civil Engineers | Attica, IN
Civil Engineering
American Society of Civil Engineers | Steamboat Springs, CO
Commissioning Intern
American Society of Civil Engineers | Chicago, IL
 
Comments
comments powered by Disqus