Despite a positive economic forecast promising hundreds of thousands of jobs next year, one local expert believes the unemployment rate won't change.
A small group of protesters gathered for a candlelight vigil Thursday night at the Civic Center Plaza to protest economic issues.
They called on Congress to extend unemployment insurance, which is set to expire Jan. 1, 2012.
Pearl Alice Souther, 56, has a master's degree in education. She's now been out of work for two years and like so many others visiting local career centers, she’s on the brink of frustration.
“All of those displaced people looking for work out there, floundering, and it's getting frustrating," Souther said. "I don't see anything getting better."
A new UCLA Anderson economic forecast says the unemployment crisis will continue next year but there is some good news: an additional 120,000 jobs per month nationally.
The problem though, is it won't make a significant change in the unemployment rate.
“You could see job growth begin to speed up, but unemployment may not follow, said Dan Seiver, SDSU Finance Professor.
“It may even rise some because more people say 'okay, now I have to start looking for a job because Joe got a job,’ so it's the last thing to really recover.”
So what do all these forecasts, numbers, and indexes really mean?
Not a whole lot in the short term, Seiver said.
“We seem like we're moving ahead, but we're not making any net progress,” he said. “We need faster growth in the economy to get faster growth in jobs if we're really going to dig into California's and San Diego's really high unemployment rate.”
For so many, this roller coaster ride of numbers -- good or bad -- doesn't make much of a difference if you're still looking for work.
Are you out of work and looking? Do you feel a shift happening with the economy? Let us know what you think. Comment below, send us your thoughts via Twitter @nbcsandiego or add your comment to our Facebook page.