For the millions of Americans looking for a job, the situation is dire.
Many of those in a job are being forced to go part-time and in California, governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has ordered state employees to take two unpaid days off a month in a bid to ease the state’s budget crisis. “It’s real tough out here,” said job-seeker Robert Brown at a job centre in Dallas, Texas. “I went online and was looking online and you’ve got a lot of employers online that are actually advertising jobs, but when you apply for them, you know, they’re still not calling.” “It’s been two months now, and nothing,” says Kathleen Nisbett, who is also looking for work. “I’m not confident about the jobs market or the economy, if it’s ever going to get better, I don’t think it will any time soon.” Although they welcome the stimulus package, analysts echo president Obama’s words by saying the situation is likely to get worse before it gets better: “The stimulus package and what it’s offering is certainly going to help with jobs,” says Beth Ann Bovino, a Standard and Poor’s economist. “It’s certainly going to bring down that unemployment rate that we now have at 7.6 percent. The problem is: when is it going to get through and how fast? Even once it is in place it’s going to take several months.” On Wall Street, stock indexes went up on Friday on expectations of stimulus spending. All the major indexes rose more than 2 percent, including the Dow Jones industrial average, which rose more than 200 points.