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Hard Work, Finding Work Part II 

There are between 30 and 40-thousand Mainers collecting unemployment benefits right now. Economists estimate that the number could get worse before there are any signs of a turnaround in sight. To support those economists, President Obama has incorportated extended unemployment benefits into the Recovery Act – up to an additional 20 weeks on top of the already 59 week benefit. In part II of our series on, “Hard Work, Finding Work” Adrienne Bennett sat down with four individuals who are trying to get by in an economy that has put them out of work. WABI TV5 NEWS Script:NATIONALLY MORE THAN 6-HUNDRED-FIFTY-THOUSAND AMERICANS JOINED THE UNEMPLOYMENT LINES IN FEBRUARY…SINCE THE RECESSION BEGAN IN DECEMBER 2007, MORE THAN 4-MILLION JOBS HAVE BEEN LOST…MAINE’S UNEMPLOYMENT RATE ROSE TO NEARLY EIGHT PERCENT IN JANUARY, WHICH IS SLIGHTLY LOWER THAN THE NATIONAL NUMBER…TONIGHT WE CONTINUE OUR SERIES, “HARD WORK, FINDING WORK” CENTRAL MAINE BUREAU CHIEF ADRIENNE BENNETT HAS BEEN ON THE STORY…SHE JOINS US FROM OUR WATERVILLE NEWSROOM WITH THE FACES OF THOSE WHO ARE TRYING TO FIND WORK…ADRIENNE?THERE ISN’T JUST ONE FACE THAT DESCRIBES THE UNEMPLOYED.THEY ARE JUST OUT OF COLLEGE, READY FOR RETIREMENT AND IN BETWEEN.ONE THING THEY ALL AGREE ON — IT’S HARD WORK FINDING WORK TODAY…”I didn’t see it coming.” “I was laid off .” “I have been looking since the first of December.” “Got laid off right before Christmas.” THESE MAINERS ALL HAVE A STORY TO TELL ABOUT THEIR STRUGGLE TO FIND WORK…JESSICA ALAIMO IS 25 YEARS OLD WITH A JOURNALISM DEGREE. FRESH FROM COLLEGE, SHE WORKED IN PRINT FOR A YEAR, THEN WAS HIRED TO RUN A POLITICAL NEWS WEBSITE.”Prior to getting laid off, it was just another news story. (splice at :36) to me it’s scary now.” LIVING OFF SAVINGS AND UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS ISN’T THE SECURE INCOME SHE EXPECTED AS AN EDUCATED YOUNG WOMAN.”When I left college, I sent out over 50 resumes and got 3 job offers. I’ve sent out over 80 and haven’t even gotten an interview.” FORECASTERS FROM THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION FOR BUSINESS ECONOMICS EXPECT THE JOB MARKET TO SHRINK AND THE NATIONS JOBLESS RATE TO PEAK AT NINE PERCENT THIS YEAR.LOUISE EARLE HAS SEEN THE ECONOMY’S UPS AND DOWNS.”I am 62.” FOR ELEVEN YEARS, EARLE MADE A LIVING AS A FAMILY ADVOCATE IN EDUCATION. LET GO IN MAY OF LAST YEAR, SHE WENT SIX MONTHS WITHOUT A STEADY CHECK.”I didn’t really know where to start to look for a job.” SO SHE TOOK A JOB IN RETAIL.”It was just the hours were incredibly different from what I had been doing in the past.”LIKE MANY OLDER ADULTS WHO HAVE LOST THEIR JOBS, EARLE HAD TO DIP INTO HER 401K AND SAVINGS TO MAKE ENDS MEET.”I certainly felt as if my life was hitting a downward spiral being an older worker.” SHE LEFT RETAIL AND NOW HELPS SENIORS FIND EMPLOYMENT. WHILE IT’S REWARDING, EARLE ADMITS…”I’m still looking, yes.”SO IS COURTNEY DUNCAN, A 27 YEAR OLD MOTHER WHO WAS SHOCKED TO FIND OUT SHE HAD BEEN LET GO AFTER FIVE YEARS AT A RESIDENTIAL GROUP HOME.”I was like ok, where’s my money for the mortgage going to come from?”NOT KNOWING WHERE TO TURN, SHE CAME TO THE AUGUSTA CAREER CENTER FOR HELP”It’s really nice to know that there are other people as frustrated as you are and there are people that have been out of work as long as you have.” IT’S BEEN OVER THREE MONTHS. DUNCAN HAS HAD THREE INTERVIEWS.”You’re competing against more people.” 2.04.09 “It’s almost a full-time job to find a full-time job.”CAREER CENTERS ACROSS THE STATE HAVE SEEN AN INFLUX OF JOB SEEKERS DURING THE PAST THREE MONTHS.”I came here just about everyday.” AFTER THREE YEARS AS A STATE WORKER, BUDGET CUTS PUT 24 YEAR OLD ALISON MAYHEUX OUT OF WORK.BECAUSE OF THE HELP SHE GOT FROM RESOURCES AT THE CENTER, SHE LANDED A JOB AFTER TWELVE WEEKS OF LOOKING.”A lot of emailing out my resume, phone calls, emailing, searching.” FOR THOSE WHO ARE STILL SEARCHING…”There are people in the same boat as you, you’ll get through it.”IF YOU’RE UNABLE TO GET TO A CAREER CENTER, YOU CAN CHECK OUT MAINE CAREER CENTER DOT COM – YOU’LL FIND AN ONLINE JOB BANK…LABOR COMMISSIONER LAURA FORTMAN TELLS ME SOME OF THE JOBS BEING CREATED FROM THE NATIONAL RECOVERY ACT HAVE BEEN POSTED…BETWEEN 13 AND 15-THOUSAND JOBS WILL EITHER BE CREATED OR MAINTAINED BECAUSE OF FEDERAL DOLLARS…SO KEEP AN EYE OUT FOR THOSE POSITIONS, WHICH WILL BE IN THE CONSTRUCTION, HEALTHCARE AND OTHER FIELDS.CLICK HERE TO CHECK OUT THE MAINE CAREER CENTER JOB BANK