The bean-shaped Cloud Gate sculpture in Chicago's Millennium Park has become a new city icon, and provides a distorted reflection of the city's skyline.
The bean-shaped Cloud Gate sculpture in Chicago's Millennium Park has become a new city icon, and provides a distorted reflection of the city's skyline. - 

Two years into the recession, many questions remain about the state of the US economy. Has the housing market hit bottom or is it headed south for a second downturn? Have consumers stopped spending and learned to save or are people ready to spend again and experience a retail-led recovery? Is the stock market stable or are we headed into a Greece-inspired period of volatility?

But one thing virtually all economists seem to agree on -- the employment picture is not likely to be healthy again for some years to come. It's being called the jobless economy. Chicago is the perfect place to tell this story -- the state's been hard hit and the picture in the city itself reflects the same issues the whole country's experiencing.

While the city serves as one of the top four major business centers in the country, it is feeling the pitch. The unemployment rate in the Chicago Metro area hit 10.7 percent this year, compared to the state-wide average of 11.2 percent and the national average of 9.7 percent. And a state think tank, the Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability, says that though half the states will recover from their job losses by mid-2013; Illinois will take until 2014 or even 2015.

Marketplace Money takes a look at what life looks like for folks who are trying to navigate this difficult job market. The stories on our show will take a look at what some are calling the "lost generation;" college graduates who are finding it difficult to start a career. We also talk with a woman who lost her job after more than 34 years to hear what it's like to jump back into the job-hunting market. And we'll visit a resume doctor to collect advice on how to tune up your resume to be competitive.