Public data, available from USAfacts.org, is a great resource for raw data. While that website offers some graphics content, the raw data availability, coupled with USCensus.org, begs for more in-depth analysis. The short project just shows a fe examples of what is possible with analytics.
A table of data for the most recent unemployment rates by state is low hanging fruit. the current wide gap in unemployment across the USA. Midwest states have lowest rates around 3% unemployment, while west coast and Hawaii are above 9%. The gap is somewhat surprising, but becomes easily apparent with a sorted view of the data as shown.
A second analysis of unemployment claims by state, collected over a one-year period starting in January 2020, reveals a peak in claims by mid-2020 with a consistently high level of claims on the west coast of the US.
A third analysis brings in a potential correlation of population by state to the number of employment claims. While states with the lowest population numbers do have significantly lower claims than the more populous ones, there is evidence of “order of magnitude” differences for all state populations over the course of one year’s time. Initial unemployment claims clearly peaked during the summer of 2020 (green curve in the plot above). By January, 2021 the initial unemployment claims across the country have dropped to the lowest levels recorded over the one-year time period. Thankfully, at least based on this data, things appear to be getting better.