Home > Competition Entry > Unemployment in the US for MOOC Course

Unemployment in the US for MOOC Course

This post is the week 4 exercise for the Knight Centre for Journalism in the Americas Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) course on the Introduction of Infographics & Data Visualisation that I am currently working through.

The exercise is design an interactive graphic using the US unemployment data by state that was recently published by the Guardian Data Blog. (the data is here).

My point of view is that unemployment is a statistic that gets lots more airtime in the news than it should. It is a statistic which can hide an incredible amount of the depth of what is really going on. Commentators from both sides (and neutrals) can use the same sets of unemployment statistics in support of their point of view and so the message around a single figure can be just about anything – sometimes even for the same figure.

…So I shall make the goal to have my readers get a better understanding of what this often used statistic is hiding and why it isn’t trustworthy as a single figure… The aim will be to use the US state data as a backdrop to this, by showing unemployment rates with the data behind them.

Effectively we will try to appeal to people to see the story behind the story, being able to intelligently question what they are told – and probably find a story that better suits their world view.

To do this effectively I would seek a range of secondary statistics by state. I am going to assume that most of these would be available rather than specifically sourcing each one at this point.

My design is here.

Categories: Competition Entry
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