Wow, some of the newfangled presentations produced out there today by the media are downright amazing — not to mention highly enlightening, in terms of the data they display and the interactive ways in which you can manipulate it.

For example, a connection of mine recently alerted me to the fascinating little interactive chart you’ll find here courtesy of the New York Times.  This chart, and the article that accompanies it, are based on the 2008 “American Time Use Survey” where thousands of Americans (over the age of 15) were asked to track how they spent every minute of each day for a given period of time.  This is pretty interesting stuff, in its own right, but the part of this that’s particularly relevant to THIS blog is the feature of the chart that lets you click to view the different time usage by folks in different age brackets, racial groups, genders, and (the pertinent part) employment status.  How do unemployed people, in other words, spend their time differently than their employed counterparts?  Try some experimentation with this feature, because it’s pretty amazing, and you can even move your cursor around the graph directly to see exactly what activities most people are doing WHEN throughout the day.

Some conclusions from this data?  As you’ll read in the accompanying article, the study reveals that on the average weekday, folks who are unemployed tend sleep an hour longer than their employed peers, do over two hours more yardwork and housework, and spend an extra 70 minutes in front of the television.  The study also claims (try clicking on the purplish “job search” band in the graph) that the average unemployed person only spends 30 minutes in a given day looking for a new job and that only one in six unemployed people will actually look for work during the typical day.

All I can say is that I hope, fervently, that these averages don’t in any way reflect the behavior and time commitment of my own firm’s clients.  If so, we need to have words, or I need to figure out a much more powerful way to get my message across!  While I seriously doubt that anybody but a small and committed group of diehards are actually out there following the old adage that “you should treat looking for a job as your new full-time job” I also know for a fact that it’s going to take more than 30 minutes a day, especially for more senior-level professionals, to entertain any serious hope of landing a new position within a reasonable time frame.

Interesting data to ponder, regardless.  And perhaps I’m easily impressed, but wow, these kinds of multimedia presentations just knock my socks off, every time.  Does anybody out there out in my network actually know how to CREATE these kinds of graphs?  Or does the New York Times have access to some form of alien technology that they’re not sharing with the world?