Perspectives from the unemployed

Kai Ryssdal watches President Obama's speech with the roundtable participants.

Kai Ryssdal leads a roundtable discussion on President Obama's latest jobs proposal, a $447 billion package of tax cuts and contributions to infrastructure. The four individuals joining him are all from Los Angeles and have all been looking for work for about a year:

- Jeff Uslander, a 44-year-old chemical scientist who was laid off a year ago from a cosmetics company

I'm trying to remain hopeful, but it's tough. And I don't see any future right now, but I think it's going to come.

- Jonquille "Jai" Damian, a 41-year-old who has an M.A. in behavioral science, but has been told in job interviews that she's overqualified

I thought, again, he [President Obama] didn't really address many of the issues at hand. He gave some ideas of what he wants to do, but I want more concrete definitions of what's really going to happen.

- Recent college graduate Maria Muniz, who is 23 years old and has interned a lot without pay and at a time resorted to living in her car

I went to college with hopes and dreams, just like everybody else. And when I graduated, the real world is not like the picture we thought it was going to be like.

- Thirty-eight-year-old Kori Ward, who has gone back to school multiple times after being laid off from a property management firm a year ago.

He's [President Obama] promising jobs, but when actually can we go to work?

They discuss the expectations they had from the president and his speech, what they think should be done to help the economy and their hopes for the future.

To listen, click on "Listen to this story" at the top of the page.

Comments

I agree to American Public Media's Terms and Conditions.
With Generous Support From...