Archive for July 6, 2012

BLS B Tables (Jobs By Industry) Treemap

I’m going to try something that is a little dependent on me always being on top of things. So I can tell you right now it’s a terrible idea.


I’ve been working for some time to make BLS data a little more accessible to the average person (read: the average wonk) and this something of a high point on that project.

In summary: Every month on the first Friday of the month, the Bureau of Labor Statistic releases two tables of jobs data. The A Tables contain employment, unemployment, the unemployment rate and labor force numbers. This is where we get the unemployment rate from. The B Tables contain detailed payroll data and a breakdown of payrolls by industry and sub-industry. This is where we get the “XYZ new jobs” number from. Due to the level of detail in the BLS B Tables, there is a lot of insight to be drawn from which industries are rising or falling (including public sector vs private sector jobs).

I’ve created a system where I can quickly snag all the BLS data from the most recent jobs report and display it in a treemap visualization, making it easy to explore.

So… here it is (interactive version).

And here’s a static version

The size of the boxes are proportional to the number of jobs in that industry and are colored according to the growth in that industry over a given time period. You can adjust the time period to color the boxes according to growth over the last month, the last 12 months, since Obama took office and over the last 10 years.

If you have a slower machine or are looking at it on a mobile device, you might be disappointed. It is a somewhat large visual and it is optimized for traditional desktop interaction. However, I’m hopeful that I can keep on top of this and post this visual monthly as the BLS numbers are released.