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

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

 
Comments () | Archives (6)

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Are these data restricted to the USA? It seems Canada and Mexico are fine, which is not true.

I would imagine with BP in the gulf of Mexico, that Mexico is suffering and will continue to do so for a long time.

It is crazy how you can literally see hurricane Katrina spike if you look at louisiana during 2005. Wow just wow

IT'S AMAZING WHEN YOU CAN SEE CRIME SPIKE, AND VIOLENT WHACKO CRIMES OF FRUSTRATION PROLIFERATE AS MIDDLE CLASS AMERICA FALLS APART DUE TO TAX BURDEN AND DEBT-PUT THAT IN YOUR KATRINA F.E.M.A. PIPE AND SMOKE IT-ALONG WITH THE HELL FROM THE MEXICAN CARTELS ON THE SOUTHWESTERN BOARDER. STRAP IN AMERICA-IT'S GONNA BE A BUMPY RIDE!

I SEE THERE ARE NO UNEMPLOYED MOOSE IN WASCILLA ,ALASKA-BUT THERE IS A WANDERING POLITICIAN FROM THERE LOOKING FOR A CAUSE! THAT MOOSE, IS POSITIVELY, ON THE LOOSE!

If dumb blogs on THE INTERNET HAD A TIME, LOGIC OR CASH SURRENDER VALUE-WE COULD CASH IN AND BE OUT OF DEBT AND GAINFULLY EMPLOYED! Stop the wars-all we get in return for that are exploiting corporations, and mutilated men and women-who are ruined psychologically for life-AND BECOME ANGRT REPUBLICANS AND TEA-BAGGERS!

How can I find more about this. I'm doing a paper on why the economy is bad and I know I'm definately using one of these graphs. They're interesting.


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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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