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So how bad is the economy? Google Public Data Explorer tells all -- in vibrant color

March 8, 2010 | 12:21 pm

As if the constant headlines about high unemployment rates and phone calls from siblings about jobless nephews weren't enough, Google has stepped in to provide some neat graphs and tables showing the wretchedness of our economy.

Google's new tool is called Public Data Explorer. Google is targeting students, journalists and politicians with the project, the company writes on the product page. But really, anyone can peek in and see some steep line graphs titled U.S. Unemployment Rate.

The graph embedded at the top of this post, which can also be seen in full-page form on Google's site, lets you click the play button and watch as unemployment expands and constricts over time (and eventually explodes, within the last two years).

There are some other cute graphs to check out, such as this one showing the 2008 collapse of U.S. retail sales. Google does a good job at making devastating statistics look really fancy.

-- Mark Milian

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Graphic credit: Google

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