U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics
Regional Economic Patterns in the United States, 1990-1999      
Regional Economic Patterns in the United States, 1990-1999
Regional Economic Patterns in the United States, 1990-1999

Related BLS Programs

Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages

Local Area Unemployment Statistics

Mass Layoff Statistics

National Compensation Survey

Current Employment Statistics (State & Area)

Occupational Employment Statistics


Table of Contents

State unemployment rates,1990-99 (PDF 270K)
State employment change rates, 1990-1999 (PDF 542K)
State mass layoff statistics, 1998-1999 (PDF 298K)
County unemployment rates, 1990-99 (PDF 327K)
County employment change rates, 1990-99 (PDF 350K)
County annual wage change rates, 1990-99 (PDF 338K)
Metropolitan area occupational densities, 1999 (PDF 273K)
Metropolitan area occupational wages, 1999 (PDF 291K)
Obtaining additional information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (PDF 48K)
How to View PDF Files







Regional Economic Patterns in the United States, 1990-1999 is presented on this website in Adobe PDF format. This report is divided into sections on this site to make it more usable. 

Single copies of the print version of Regional Economic Patterns in the United States, 1990-1999 are available. To obtain a copy, send e-mail to blsdata_staff@bls.gov. with your mailing address included in your request; mail a request to the Office of Publications and Special Studies, U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Washington, D.C., 20212; or call 202-691-5200.

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Preface Download PDF(51K)


This mapbook was commissioned to be a visually and analytically compelling look at local economic conditions in their broader spatial context. The report is the result of the efforts of a team of economists, computer specialists, graphic artists, visual information specialists, and editors. Richard M. Devens, Chief, Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Publishing Division, provided overall project direction. Keith L. Tapscott of the BLS Publishing Division was the project's art director. The principal authors were Patricia Aleman (Office of Compensation and Working Conditions), Edna Biederman (Office of Employment and Unemployment Statistics), James Grounds (Office of Employment and Unemployment Statistics), Douglas K. Himes (Office of Employment and Unemployment Statistics), Guy Podgornik (Office of Employment and Unemployment Statistics), and Harriet G. Weinstein (Office of Compensation and Working Conditions). The report was edited by May Kay Rieg and the text was designed and laid out by Phyllis Lott and Margaret Jones (all of the BLS Publishing Division).

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Introduction Download PDF(21 K)

The maps in this report display a wide variety of data about the American economy in the 1990s as a pattern of colors. For example, in the maps of joblessness in states and counties, the colors correspond to ranges of unemployment rates that remain constant across the years depicted. Progressively darker colors correspond to higher ranges of unemployment.

This representation permits two useful types of comparisons to be made:

  • Data across states or counties can be compared at a given time

  • Data for a given area or group of areas can be compared over time and over the business cycle

Similar comparisons may be made across states and counties for the rates of change in employment and annual wages. In these maps, the darker colors represent lower (or even negative) rates of change, while the lighter colors represent more expansive growth in jobs or pay.

One important limitation of this method of presenting data is that comparisons are confined to instances in which rates fall into different ranges. For example, it cannot be inferred from the maps whether the unemployment rate for Michigan increased, decreased, or remained constant between 1990 and 1991; the maps show only that unemployment rates were between 7.0 percent and 9.9 percent for each period.

Nor do the maps reveal whether the unemployment rate was greater in Iowa or Wisconsin in 1990; rates for both states were between 4.0 percent and 4.9 percent. On the other hand, it is clear that Michigan's unemployment rate dropped considerably between 1990 and 1999, and that the jobless rate in Wisconsin was higher than that of Iowa in 1994.

The section on mass layoff statistics takes a cross-sectional view of several dimensions of extended mass layoffs in 1999.

The maps of metropolitan areas depict occupational density and wages for selected occupations. Occupational density is an occupation's percentage share of employment in specific metropolitan areas. This is calculated by taking the Occupational Employment Statistics employment estimate for an occupation in a particular area and dividing it by the sum of all of the occupational employment estimates for that area.

Wages vary by occupation. There are geographic differences in wages for workers in the same occupation. The maps for wages by metropolitan area show the average wages earned in 1999 for 71 local areas. Average hourly earnings are presented for all workers and for those in seven selected occupations.

 Business cycle
 turning points, 1949-99
Peaks Troughs
October 1949
July 1953
May 1954
August 1957
April 1958
April 1960
February 1961
December 1969
November 1970
November 1973
March 1975
January 1980
July 1980
July 1981
November 1982
July 1990
March 1991

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