High Unemployment Numbers

Two months ago, Sheryl Nieman left her job teaching art in Washington, D.C. and moved back home to Naperville. Nieman left her previous job because it didn’t pay her enough to live on. The nation’s unemployment rate continues to hover above nine percent but Nieman says she was underemployed, and that’s a problem, too.

“They’re up against other people who don’t have a job at all, or they’re taking a ten dollar an hour job and searching,” said Nieman. “So I just have a feeling that the numbers are bigger.”

Before President Obama addressed the nation, Nieman feared Obama’s message would be too general.

“I can’t say I’ve heard anybody ever realizing the severity of the situation,” said Nieman before the speech. “I feel that it’s more severe than anybody’s saying. I hope to hear that somebody has a plan, that they’ve focused on this.”

During his speech, Obama announced the “American Jobs Act.” The plan will cut employer payroll taxes, put construction workers back to work on roads and bridges, encourage businesses to hire veterans, and extend employment insurance.

But Obama is concerned the bill faces a tough road to getting passed because next year is an election year. He urged Republicans and Democrats to pass the bill now.

“The people that have hired us to work for them, they don’t have the luxury of waiting 14 months,” said President Obama.

Nieman says she hopes congress will do something soon. After the speech, she said she liked what she heard.

“I did have some questions answered. I do think he spoke to the severity of the situation,” said Nieman.

Nieman also agreed with another one of Obama’s points, emphasizing “Made in America.”

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