My former boss, Tommy Albo, imported centroids of unemployment data by county to Google Earth and quickly compiled this pretty amazing visualization. The numbers come from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and represent unemployment levels as of December, 2008. Download the original county data or a PDF map from Primary Data Source. This was all brought to our attention through The Society for Conservation GIS email list, and a post by Gina Clemmer at New Urban Research, Inc. Thanks to Tommy and Gina! Enough links? Okay, the goods are below. Notice the Southeast, Upper Midwest and the West Coast.
US Unemployment Map