Where are the Jobs?

Over the past several years, the LEHD program at the US Census Bureau has put together an incredible resource: the LEHD Origin Destination Employment Statistics (LODES) dataset, which provides information on the location and characteristics of every job in the United States that is covered by unemployment insurance.

Heavily inspired by the Racial Dot Map, this visualization uses the LODES data to plot one dot for every job in the United States (based on the counts of jobs by Census block).

When it launched in 2015, this visualization was covered by the Washington Post, Citylab, and Vox, among other outlets. You can read my introduction to the dataset for REGION here, or my paper that uses LODES data to identify and characterize business districts here. If you want to take a deep dive into the jobs and commuting flows in one particular area, I recommend the Census Bureau’s own OnTheMap tool. And if you’d like to make your own version, the code to make the visualization is on Github here.

Launch visualization

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