World's Top Jobs Predictor

Germany's Labour Agency believes it has the most fine-grained statistics on labour in the world, illustrating place by place throughout the country many things you thought you knew, but couldn't quite prove to your kids, such as how poor educational performance correlates with unemployment.

It has now thrown this data storehouse open to the public using dynamic data visualization tools, and the displays are impressive and amazing. Here for for example is a graph where lack of a high-school leaving certificate (X axis) is correlated with regional unemployment (Y axis) whereby circle size represents city or county population and circle colour represents alphabetical order of state name (from blue (B) to red (T), which is about the dumbest thing I can find in this intelligent package).
The image above is from a page compiled on the fly. You can alter all four of those axes to other data streams to correlate whatever you please. There's even a slider to go back in time. This is an amazing and impressive demonstration of data visualization for everyman.

According to a report by Klaus Tscharnke of dpa (in German only), the Bundesagentur für Arbeit (Federal Labour Agency) which operates the nation's labour exchanges purchased a Google Analytics package to visualize its database in this way. That explains why the URLs are in English, which is handy since there is no English version of the data controls themselves.

What does the above graph illustrate? Look at the two biggish blue discs at top right: one represents central Berlin and the other the adjacent Neukölln region of the capital. They have enormous school dropout rates and huge heavily frequented labour offices where people apply for the dole. If you have been a tourist in Berlin, you have perhaps noticed the poverty amid the glamour.

The discs do bunch themselves along a diagonal line. At far left on the graph are Bavarian cities like Regensburg, where only 2.7 per cent of the working population failed to complete high school, and only 2.4 per cent are unemployed. That does strongly suggest a correlation that's not just true in Germany, but worldwide. Show it to your kids.

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