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The new poor: Baby boomers in the jobless crisis

This week, Need to Know features a special focus on jobs. We report from across the country to put faces on those stubborn jobless statistics. The Great Recession might have officially ended in June 2009, but high unemployment continues to vex the economy and flummox our politicians. New statistics paint a grim picture. Forty-one million people are now on food stamps, up 45 percent since 2008. And one in seven Americans is living in poverty — the highest in decades.

Most Americans will get back on their feet. But older unemployed Americans might not get that chance. The unemployment rate for baby boomers has doubled since the beginning of the recession. We bring you an intimate portrait of a husband and wife in Portland, Ore., in who built a life and a business, only to see their world quickly fall apart.

Related links:

Share your own stories of the recession in The Pitch Room

Interactive: Jobless rates in context

Video: The young and the jobless, an interview with The Atlantic’s Don Peck

Video: Help wanted: The recession and the unemployment picture, from Nightly Business Report

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