US unemployment rates by State 1981-2011

February 11, 2013

(This article was first published on plausibel, and kindly contributed to R-bloggers)

File under: getting data.

Oh the irony. Exactly one day after I start to read the great book on Open Government by O’Reilly media (which they released in tribute to Aaron Schwartz), I come in need of time series data on unemployment rates in the United States. Inspired by the book, I’m all over the open government initiative at In fact, unemployment by state is quickly found:

What’s wrong?

Well, the button “download csv” takes me to the BLS’ website, where I’m kindly informed that I need to install Java 7, which then in turn the Java site informs me that this is not a good idea for several reasons to install on my mac. Great.

Did I not just want a csv? Java what?

Way to go till Open Government. I ended up doing the work myself. Go and get your unemployment rates by state from 1981-2011 on my github. (contains raw data and RData)

I looked around a lot and couldn’t find any other data source. let me know if there is one out there I might have missed.

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