Praise for a labor app, and the promise of more great work from our community


The final honorable mention among our Apps for America 2 contest entries, Employment Market Explorer, helps users assess the labor market in a region, watching unemployment over time at the city, county and state level. It contains only two measures—employment and unemployment—so it falls short of providing a more drilled-down look at the labor markets, including sectors, and I’d like to be able to compare regions or states head-to-head. There is a lot of potential here, and as the financial turmoil continues, employment issues will be important to watch. Perhaps a future app will mine the data for some interesting conclusions on the national scale, or highlight areas where change has been particularly notable.

Thanks to everyone who helped make our second Apps for America contest a success, and remember, the fun doesn’t end with the competition. Our volunteer community of civic-minded developers—which we hope contest entrants, as well as everyone else, will join–is always hard at work on new projects, and it would be great to see a more in-depth look at labor issues in the future.