Despite the government shutdown, I was able to retrieve data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and update an interactive visualization. This shows job growth in states and areas within states.
I’ve structured this visualization so that you may click on a state, and all areas of the state that BLS tracks will appear. You can select one sector at a time: Government, Total Nonfarm, and Total Private. The data is indexed so that each area starts at the same relative level. Data is annual, current through 2012.
Here’s a snapshot of Kansas for the Government sector, with Wichita highlighted. (Click for a larger version.) Compared to other areas in Kansas, Wichita does well in government jobs. Topeka, the purple line at the bottom, has experienced a loss in government jobs in recent years.
Looking at the private sector, we see that Wichita does not perform well. When we couple slow growth of the private sector with faster growth of government, we’re setting the stage for even slower growth of the type of jobs that produce prosperity. Those are, of course, private sector jobs.
Wichita city leaders seem pleased with this performance. They continually praise those in charge of economic development. For more on this topic, see Wichita job growth and Visioneering peers.
Data is from the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor. Visualization created by myself using Tableau Public. Use the visualization below, or click here to open it in a new window, which will probably work better in most cases.