Five million Americans are among the long-term unemployed--those without a job for 27 weeks or longer--according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Another 7.3 million are looking for work, while the unemployment rate sits at 7.9 percent. Numbers aside, individual stories illustrate how America is affected. To see how joblessness hits home, Yahoo News asked unemployed workers to share their job-hunting stories. Here's one.
FIRST PERSON | I am a fast-food restaurant manager trying to find work since the first day of my unemployment on Oct. 31, 2011.
It has not been easy. I have never had to look for a job before; the job I lost was the job I had since I was 16 years old. I live in Toledo, Ohio, where the unemployment rate is 7.2 percent.
It has not been an easy search. I have looked for work in the field I work in as well as trying to venture out and use my skills at another profession. I'm required to make at least two job contacts a week to fulfill unemployment requirements. But so far no luck. I have used Ohio Means jobs, Monster, Snagajob, and every other job seeking employment firm. When you go to places to apply, they tell you to apply online; when you apply online and try to call back, it's near impossible to talk to someone.
With gas prices so high, public transportation is the only option I can use for my job search, and in my city, the public transportation is not that user-friendly. I have had one interview in almost a year's time -- for a managerial position at a Speedway fast-food and gas station -- and I was told they went with someone more qualified. Trying to find work that was close to the pay I was receiving is not going to happen.
I understand that aspect, but settling for minimum wage is going to be a tough pill to swallow. Even those jobs are elusive.
I have only until December 29 to find a job, any job, because my unemployment extensions of $387 weekly are set to end. I do not know how I will feed myself or my family and no idea where we will go if I do not obtain a job in 30 days. I have already borrowed money from family and friends just to cover expenses. It looks like my chances of finding a job are slim if I have not found employment in the past 11 months. It is stressful and depressing.
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