What do you think? Leave a respectful comment.

The video for this story is not available, but you can still read the transcript below.
No image

Few Glimmers of Hope for Unemployed Americans

With the long-term unemployment rate at its highest level since 1948, the nation's jobless are taking little solace in recent data suggesting the recession is winding down. In the latest installment of his Making Sen$e series, Paul Solman explores the sometimes grueling search for work in an battered economy.

Read the Full Transcript

  • JIM LEHRER:

    Now the tough road to finding a job in this economy.

    Our economics correspondent, Paul Solman, has the story as part of his ongoing series on "Making Sense" of the financial news.

  • PAUL SOLMAN:

    The line for a Manhattan job fair in August about to open within the hour.

    CHANDRA SMITH, job seeker: This is like a job, actually. Job searching is a job. It just doesn't pay.

  • PAUL SOLMAN:

    Chandra Smith was here with Andrea Bresler.

    Are you seeing the economy recover, the green shoots people keep talking about ?

  • SMITH:

    No.

  • WOMAN:

    No.

  • SMITH:

    Not actually.

  • PAUL SOLMAN:

    Are you seeing the green shoots?

  • PHILIP MEREDAY, Unemployed Executive:

    No, absolutely not.

  • PAUL SOLMAN:

    The green shoots, the economy reviving, have you seen it?

    JEFF GOLDSTEIN, advertising copywriter: I see unemployment that is so high. The numbers, they're trying to tell us the economy is better. I personally don't see it.

  • PAUL SOLMAN:

    How long you have been out of work?

  • JEFF GOLDSTEIN:

    It's been about a year now.

  • PAUL SOLMAN:

    Small wonder folks like Jeff Goldstein were gloomy.

    How long did you think you were going to be out of work?

  • JEFF GOLDSTEIN:

    Oh, I thought I would be out of work for a month, tops.

  • PAUL SOLMAN:

    How long you have been out of work?

  • MAN:

    Two years.

  • PAUL SOLMAN:

    Two years?

    MAUREEN LOCKWOOD, clerical worker: I'm out over a year now. Mine ends in September.

  • PAUL SOLMAN:

    The unemployment, you mean?

  • MAUREEN LOCKWOOD:

    Yes. Yes.

  • PAUL SOLMAN:

    We come to find out what's new about the job market for America's 14.5 million officially unemployed. For many, it's that their unemployment benefits are running out, even after having been extended several times during the great recession. That's because of long-term unemployment, five million people now out of work for at least half-a-year, the highest percentage since the government started tracking long-term joblessness in 1948.

    Desperate times, desperate measures, including a resume flagged for our camera.

  • MAN:

    I hope somebody, you know, out there is watching.

  • PAUL SOLMAN:

    I see.

  • PAUL SOLMAN:

    Charles Stewart…

  • MAN:

    Yes, sir.

  • PAUL SOLMAN:

    … from Brooklyn.

  • MAN:

    Yes, sir.

  • PAUL SOLMAN:

    Telecommunications technician.

  • MAN:

    Yes, sir.

  • PAUL SOLMAN:

    And how long you been out of work?

  • MAN:

    Since — ooh, a year or so.

The Latest