Jobs and helping businesses create them. It’s a theme that has swept Washington lately. But how convincingly is it playing here in our corner of the country?
San Diego County's unemployment rate dropped a notch last month, while the state's unemployment rate went up. But it's still above ten percent.
For job seekers and employers alike, realistic hope that government can start turning the tide is what they're looking to the President and Congress for.
"We're unemployed, but we all want to work. We all want to start back and we have to start somewhere. Give us that opportunity. Give those businesses the opportunity to give to us, to go back and start working," said Lemon Grove resident Anna Maria Galvan.
Galvan has been out of work as an office clerical staffer for a year and a half. She's now a regular at the Metro Career Center in City Heights, run by the San Diego Workforce Partnership. But jobs are scarce because businesses are skittish about hiring.
Across town at Employment & Community Options, a nonprofit job placement firm for adults with developmental disabilities and seniors, they're hearing uncertain (if not downright gloomy) forecasts from all too many of the organizations they recruit for.
They would like to see Washington put aside partisan politics and cooperate on getting people back to work.
“I think most people are way more in the middle than our legislators are. So I would like to see them -- the President and Congress -- committed to helping small business, businesses of every size, to work together to find jobs, to create some positive momentum in the workforce,” said Employment & Community Options President/CEO Nancy Batterman.
Meantime, the national unemployment rate is at 9.4 percent -- a figure that doesn't cover millions of workers whose benefits have run out or who have given up on the traditional job market.