Map shows US job losses in urban centres

Post by Mike Klassen in

1 comment

Slate Magazine's interactive map shows job losses over the past 2 years

In what Slate describes as "vanishing employment" stateside, we thought we'd share this link to an interactive USA map showing evaporating jobs in America's mainly dense urban nodes. It's a chilling sight to see millions of jobs disappear in just two years. Thanks, Andrew, for the link.

In the case of British Columbia job losses have hit hardest in construction and forestry. Metro Vancouver has been not nearly as affected by this tectonic economic shift as southern California, Florida, the Eastern Seaboard, or auto industry reliant states in the Mid-West.

Regardless of what we're facing at the moment, illustrations like these can show us how quickly things can turn for the worse in an urban economy when there is no plan. In the case of Metro Vancouver, we keep reminding readers that there is no coordinated region-wide economic strategy. The only leadership we've seen to date is from Surrey Mayor Dianne Watts.

The hard choices will have to be made by citizens in the months ahead. Do we want to challenge our municipal leaders to coordinate their long-range planning and economic strategy? What stewardship should come from Victoria? How can we create a low-carbon economy when a 2.4-cent pollution tax becomes a political wedge?

These are challenging times, and we only have to look at the struggle of our American (and Ontarian) neighbours to see that short-term thinking and urban sprawl only leads to economic desperation.

1 Comment

Without sounding like I'm leading too much of a love-in, I completely agree with Mike. Sprawl makes both of us Hulk out. Look at Calgary as an example of no-plan urban planning.

As an aside, I propose we think about the meaning of "job losses". No one "loses" a job like a pair of glasses or a cell phone. We get fired. People being fired can be the result of a sour economy, but make no mistake, employee termination is a choice made by employers (I'm not saying that it's a good or bad thing, and it may be a necessary thing, but it is a choice nonetheless). "Job loss" is a phrase that StatsCan uses. Hell, we all use it (see the title of the graphic above, issued by the US government). But again, let's be aware that no one "loses" a job; they get fired.

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