This map perfectly summarizes the state of the unemployment rate over the course of your lifetime.
You can watch the struggling economies of the late 1970s and the uncertain recoveries of the 1980s, the booming economies of the 1990s, the start and go recoveries of the early 2000s and the stunning collapse at the end of the George W. Bush presidency. Stick around for the persistently slow but gradually improving recovery of the Obama era.
The map can get really ugly, but it tells a fascinating story.
Pay attention to certain regions that shift together, states that retain persistently high unemployment even in good times, eras when unemployment shifted (up and down) far faster than today and the way good can shift to bad in such rapid fashion.
It'd be an egregious stretch to claim that a map that shows unemployment rates by state by month over 38 years is mesmerizing or amazing, but it's ok. The basic history of our economic indicators is pretty complicated, and animated maps help tell the story in a way that's perhaps more accessible than table after table of BLS statistics.
But let's get real.
More people quit their jobs in June than in any month since the start of the recovery, which Lawler writes is a sign that workers are feeling better about the prospect that they can find new jobs. When combined with a spike in jobs openings, 2014 may finish on a very strong note.
Go read his whole report here. It's worth your while.
(Note: I found this map on Reddit. It was produced by Metric Maps.)