This “The Best…” list is a companion to The Best Sites To Learn About The U.S. Financial Crisis.  Those sites tried to explain how we got into this mess.  The resources on this list share what is happening to us as a result.  These sites try to give a picture of the recession’s effects throughout the world.

These sites, all relatively accessible to English Language Learners, are divided into three sections. The first are some narrative reports on what is occurring. The second are interactive charts or graphs that show “the numbers.” The third are multimedia presentations giving a human face to the recession (of course, most of my students are experiencing that human face directly in their own lives).

Here are my picks for The Best Sites To Learn About The Recession:


Voice of America’s Special English has a report (with audio support for the text) titled Trying To Live With A Recession In The World’s Largest Economy.

Breaking New English has a lesson (again, with audio support for the text) called Huge U.S. Job Losses Spark Recession Fears.

ESL Podcast Blog has an engaging report on ways a recession affects society

CBBC has a good report on the recession in the United Kingdom.


Where Does Your State Rank? is a map from CNN showing the recession’s effect across the United States.

Layoffs Pile-Up is a graph from the Wall Street Journal showing what economic sectors are experiencing the worst job loss.

USA Today has a very complete analysis on jobs loss and growth in the United States.

The National Conference of State Legislatures also has an interactive map on the effects of the recession in all fifty states.

The Sacramento Bee has information on which jobs are growing and which are shrinking in our region.

These would require some teacher explanation, but are intriguing nevertheless. They’re are two infographics showing how the proposed economic stimulus would be used — one from the Washington Post and the other from Credit Loan. CNN has a new interactive on the compromise that the Senate and House just agreed to.

The Obamameter is a regularly updated visual representation of different aspects of the U.S. economy. It would be accessible to Intermediate English Language Learners with some explanation.

FinViz shows the stock market in a vivid color-code.

The Economy Tracker from CNN shows the latest economic data on a map, and combines that with personal stories of those affected.

The Geography Of A Recession comes from The New York Times and shows, in detail, unemployment rates throughout the United States.

Maplibs has a color-coded world map that shows international financial centers. The key is the color — if it’s shown in red then it’s down, if it’s shown in green then it’s up.

The Sacramento Bee has a scary map of unemployment in  California.

Economic Reality Check is from CNN and provide short facts about different aspects of the recession.

Here’s a map that shows the unemployment rate in major countries around the world.

The Sacramento Bee has just published an Income Gap Interactive Graphic. It’s based on Sacramento data, but I suspect the information is similar across the United States.  It vividly, and in a way that’s accessible to English Language Learners, shows how long it takes for different people (by occupation, ethnicity, and educational background) to earn $100,000.

MSNBC has developed what they call an Adversity Index. It’s an animated map that “measures the economic health of 381 metro areas and all 50 states.”  It’s pretty intriguing, though would probably require some initial explanation before English Language Learners could fully decipher it.  Right below the Adversity Map, you can also find a “Map:Recession-resistant areas” that highlights communities in the U.S. that have escaped the recession’s effects.

The San Francisco Chronicle published a simple and very accessible chart today titled Unemployment Characteristics.  It “breaks down” unemployment data by race, gender, and education background.

Great Depression Comparison is an excellent interactive comparing the Depression to our present Recession.

Here’s a very accessible infographic that shows the change in unemployment in major US cities over the past year.

The Associated Press has an Economic Stress Index which shows, in an interactive graphic form, what is happening to every county in the United States economically. It measures bankruptcies, home foreclosures, and unemployment, and then interprets it into what they call a “stress index.”

The New York Times has published an interactive graphic titled Broad Unemployment Across the U.S. It shows both the official unemployment rate, and what the rate would be if it included “ipart-time workers who want to work full time, as well some people who want to work but have not looked for a job in the last four weeks.”

Visualizing Economics has developed a good infographic comparing unemployment in the Great Depression with unemployment during our present recession.

Moody’s has put together an impressive and accessible Global Recession Map showing how all the economies in the world are going.

“Food Assistance” is a very simple and visual infographic from GOOD Magazine tracking the rise of food stamps over the past year.

Times Of Crisis is an extraordinary interactive timeline showing the critical events of the economic recession over the past 365 days.

The Geography of Jobs is an excellent animated map demonstrating the loss of jobs in different parts of the United States during the recession.

Flowing Data has some maps that very visually show where unemployment has increased over the past few years.

The Unemployed States of America, a nice infographic (in terms of accessibility, not because it shares good news)

How the Great Recession Reshaped the U.S. Job Market, an informative (and a bit “busy” looking) interactive from The Wall Street Journal.

“America’s 35 Hardest-Hit Cities” is a very accessible infographic showing the communities around the U.S. with the highest unemployment rates. Quite a few of them are located right here in California’s Central Valley.

Comparing This Recession to Previous Ones: Job Changes is a New York Times graphic that very clearly shows we’re not doing so great right now.

“How The Great Recession Has Changed Life In America” is an interactive from The Pew Center.

Who’s Hurting? is a Wall Street Journal interactive showing which economic sector is losing/gaining jobs

How Do Americans Feel About The Recession? is an infographic from MINT.It has some interesting information, and a teacher could ask similar questions of their students.

“Decline and fall of the California job market” is a very good interactive from The Sacramento Bee showing the chronological progress of the monthly unemployment rate for each county in the state over the past three years.

Visual Economics has published two good infographics in one place: “Cities That Have Missed The Recovery” and “Cities That Are Having A Great Recovery.”

“How The Recession Has Changed Us” is what I think is a pretty amazing infographic from The Atlantic.

Where Are The Jobs? is a very good interactive infographic from The Washington Post showing which economic sectors are increasing jobs and which are not doing so well.

GOOD has just published a very good series of infographics explaining the economy.
It’s called All About The Benjamins.


Boomtown To Bust is a New York Times slideshow on the recession’s effect in Florida.

The Sacramento Bee has a series of photos Chronicling The Economic Downturn.

Long Lines Of Job Seekers Continue is a slideshow from The Washington Post.

Downturn Leaves More Families Homeless is another slideshow from The Washington Post.

The Wall Street Journal has excerpts from recent songs that have been written about the recession.

Following A Closing, The Struggle To Find Work is another slideshow from The New York Times.

A Community Facing Hunger is a video from The New York Times.

Out Of Work In China is a video showing the effects of the recession in that country.

A Painful Return is a slideshow discussing the recession’s effects in China.

Tough Times For Summitville Tiles is a Wall Street Journal slideshow about the closing of a factory.

Black Thursday In France is a Wall Street Journal slideshow about protests in that country demanding that the government do more to stop the recession.

Ohio Town Faces Economic Collapse is a slideshow from Pixcetra.

The American Economy: Down and Out is a slideshow from TIME Magazine.

Tough Times In Cleveland is another TIME slideshow.

An audio slideshow from The New York Times called In Economic Vise, Pontiac Struggles.

There Goes Retirement is an online video from The Wall Street Journal.

The progressive magazine The Nation has a useful slideshow called The Great Recession. It’s a bit ideological, but provides a different kind of analysis and response to the recession. It also includes links to articles that would not be accessible to ELL’s. However, the images, teacher modifications of the articles, and lesson ideas provided by them could offer some good opportunities for student discussion and higher order thinking.

The Faces Of The Unemployed is a slideshow from The New York Times.

Searching For A Job is a series of photos from the Sacramento Bee.

Looking For Work is an audio slideshow from Reuters.

Desperately Seeking A Salary is another audio slideshow from Reuters.

Job Seekers Flood Local Job Fair is a slideshow from The Sacramento Bee.

Recession Hits The Saddle is a slideshow from The New York Times.

Auto Town Struggles With Unemployment is a slideshow from The New York Times.

Dark Stores from TIME Magazine.

Scenes From The Recession comes from the Boston Globe’s Big Picture.

The New York Times has an audio slideshow about people looking for work in the state of Tennessee.

Inside California’s Tent Cities is the newest addition to this list.  It’s a New York Times slideshow on the growing number of homeless encampments around the United States, particularly here in Sacramento (which was recently featured on Oprah Winfrey’s show) and in Fresno.

The Death of the American Mall is a slideshow from The Wall Street Journal.

Stimulus Watch is a site that doesn’t really fit into any of the categories on this list, but it’s intriguing. It supposedly lists all the projects different governmental projects have proposed to do with stimulus money, and then people can vote which ones they think are best. They’re categorized by community, so they’re very accessible. The only drawback to it is since it’s a wiki, even though all the projects are listed, many don’t have detailed information yet on what the project entails. Nevertheless, its interactivity could offer some good possibilities for student engagement.

How Do You Feel About The Economy? is a great interactive graphic — especially for English Language Learners — from The New York Times.  You’re supposed to be able to enter a word that indicates how you’re filling, and you’re given many choices. It’s a good opportunity for vocabulary development.

Picturing The Recession is yet another exceptional interactive from The New York Times. It’s composed of photos contributed by readers, including captions, divided by topic or location.

Adapting To Job Loss is a slideshow from The Washington Post.

Survival Strategies is a new interactive feature from The New York Times.  People offer brief ideas on how they’re saving money now in the recession. Readers can vote on which ones they think are best. You have to register in order to vote, offer suggestions, or contribute your own.

Forced From Home is a slideshow from The Wall Street Journal.

Ghost Factories is a slideshow from The New York Times.

“The Long-Term Unemployed” is a multimedia interactive from The Wall Street Journal.

“America Out Of Work” is ongoing series of video interviews the Los Angeles Times is doing with the unemployed.

America at Work is slideshow from The Atlantic.

As always, feedback is welcome.

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