urban data

The U.S. cities that gained the most workers over the last 12 months

One of the great things about social media is that it gives us access to data that previously didn’t exist or was difficult to collect.

Take, for example, LinkedIn’s monthly report on employment trends called the Workforce Report. They look at which industries are hiring, where people are moving for jobs, and so on. Click here for the June 2017 edition. 

Note that architecture/engineering hiring appears to be up nationally, which is usually a positive leading indicator.

I’ll leave you all to go through the report, but I did want to pull out a few of their maps and one of their takeaways. Below are maps of the cities that lost the most workers and gained the most workers over the last 12 months.

The established trend of people moving from colder northern cities to warmer amenity-rich cities seem to play out here.

That said, one of their “key insights” is that fewer workers today are moving to the San Francisco Bay Area. Since February 2017, there has been a 17% decline in the net number of workers.

They blame housing affordability (ahem, lack of supply). People are simply turning to other great cities like Seattle, Portland, Denver, and Austin. They’re growing and cheaper.

One of the other cool things about the report is that you can drill down into individual cities to see where people are moving from. I looked up Miami and Chicago just to do a quick comparison. 

Not surprisingly, Miami is seeing a significant contingent from South America. What’s interesting about this random comparison is how international Miami is and how regional Chicago is in terms of their draws.

I would love to see similar data for Canada. This is valuable stuff.

A block is by no means a standard unit of measurement. Depending on the urban plan, blocks can be square or oblong, and can vary significantly in side length. For this plot, I measured the median length of downtown blocks in six cities that have regular grid layouts – that is, the dimensions of their city blocks are consistent. I’ve included blocks per mile along the outer axes, and the ratio of short to long dimension for each city. For this value, one represents a perfect square while smaller values indicate more oblong blocks.

Data source: Measurements made using Google Earth.


The nation’s largest retailer is known for sprawling suburban and rural stores. Now Wal-Mart is moving into city centers — sometimes despite strong local opposition.

NPR compiled data on the locations of Wal-Marts in three American cities. For each of these cities, we used census data to estimate what percentage of the population was within 1 mile of a Wal-Mart. In the maps below you can watch as Wal-Mart expands to reach more and more of this urban population. Ten years ago, Wal-Mart had no stores in any of these cities; today they have 20. In Washington, D.C., three additional Wal-Marts are under development, allowing us to project the retailer’s market growth into the future.

The Urban Neighborhood Wal-Mart: A Blessing Or A Curse?

Source: Wal-Mart, U.S. Census Bureau

Credit: April Fehling, Tyler Fisher, Christopher Groskopf, Alyson Hurt, Livia Labate and Ariel Zambelich/NPR

Note: All population estimates refer to block-level 2010 Census figures.

An astounding 26 percent of black males in the United States report seeing someone shot before turning 12.

Conditional on reported exposure to violence, black and white young males are equally likely to engage in violent behavior.
—  Aliprantis, Dionissi, 2014. “Human Capital in the Inner City,” Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, working paper no. 13-02R.

#onthisday in 1873, Boston’s Registrar issued a report on the births, marriages, and deaths in the city during 1872.  Some of the Registrar’s personal opinions may have crept into the report. Read some of these sample pages and see what you find!

Report of the City Registrar, Proceedings of the City Council, Collection 0100.001, Docket 1873-0331-G, Boston City Archives