Animated on-line map shows impact of North American job gains and losses

For immediate release
MITACS-created tool a powerful resource for economists, media and researchers

Vancouver (BC) -- October 14, 2009 - How has your local community been affected by the economic crisis? As a whole, national job markets have been severely hit, with the loss of more than 300,000 jobs in Canada and 5.5 million jobs in the United States between July 2008 and July 2009 alone. But on a local level, which economies are doing better than others? Did some cities actually gain jobs?

Answers to these and other employment trend questions can be found on a new animated, interactive website that visually tracks local job creations and losses in the major metropolitan regions of North American over the last seven years. Developed by MITACS – a national research network focused on connecting university researchers, private and public partners to solve real-world challenges.

With varying-sized blue dots identifying job gains and red dots highlighting job losses, the map easily demonstrates the steadily-shifting labour reality as the months progress, providing a powerful resource for economists, media and researchers.

"Between 2007 and 2009, the map turns from blue to red as almost every city was swept up in the great recession,” explains Dr. Peter V. Hall, professor at the Urban Studies Program at Simon Fraser University. “But the map also shows that local economies matter. It traces how the contagion spread from metropolitan areas in Florida, California and the industrial Midwest and reveals that some cities have fared less poorly than others while, for some, this recession was yet another blow after years of decline.”

Canadians and Americans are encouraged to follow this map in the coming months as “ the recovery will have to start somewhere,” emphasizes Dr. Hall.

Jock Finlayson, Executive Vice President – Policy of the Business Council of British Columbia, applauds the project, saying that the map is “a wonderful way of displaying comparative time-series economic information for cities and states across North America."

“MITACS is proud to have created this valuable tool for the academic research community, the public and the private sectors,” says Dr Arvind Gupta, MITACS’s scientific director. “Our goal is to bring these key players together, to jointly identify research issues, and collaboratively develop an R&D roadmap.”

The animation was inspired by the TIP Strategies and Slate animations, which show the U.S. story at city and county levels.

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MITACS is a federally-funded research network with offices across the country. MITACS brings together academia, industry and the public sector through research and training initiatives to develop cutting edge tools vital to the knowledge‐based economy. In 2003, MITACS established a first‐of‐its‐kind internship program which connected Canadian graduate students and their professors with companies to facilitate knowledge transfer and introduce the private sector to the research expertise within Canada’s universities.

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