Peter Brandt

Date of Award

January 2018

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Geography & Geographic Information Science

First Advisor

Michael Niedzielski


The Great Recession was one of the worst economic downturns in recent history. Lasting approximately from 2007 to 2009, locations faced economic hardships of varying length and severity at regional, metropolitan, and neighborhood scales. Scholars have assessed the geographies of job loss during the recession in a variety of contexts, typically from the workplace perspective. However, the impact of job loss at a workplace location also reaches to the different home locations of the employees who lost jobs. Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to compare the loss of jobs during the recession, from the perspective of where those who lost jobs resided, and the recovery in years following between and within a sample of ten cities in the United States. This was accomplished by tracking changes in the number of employed residents per census block group between 2007, 2009, 2012, and 2015 across ten metropolitan areas. The change between 2007 and 2009 provided a picture of the immediate impact of the recession, while 2012 and 2015 showed the short-term and long-term recoveries. Employment trends were analyzed for the general population, and broken down by a number of socioeconomic characteristics including age, income, and job sector. The results of the analysis revealed both geospatial and socioeconomic patterns of employment change, contributing to a better understanding of the effects of the Great Recession.