Job hunters around the United States are struggling to keep up their spirits as they look for work, despite the poor economy. Many watched President Barack Obama's Thursday speech to a joint session of Congress.
With a national unemployment rate of over 9 percent, young people face tough competition.
At California State University, Los Angeles, senior student Kristine Chan is keeping her eye on the job market. “I can tell there are jobs out there. I think that students, we’re not prepared enough for it,” she said.
Chan is studying criminal justice and psychology, and has interned at social agencies as part of a job-hunting strategy.
Senior student Tien Cheng is studying information technology and accounting, and says his job search is frustrating. “Sometimes I’m not even sure what should I do in this moment, so I try to look for some internship, or some sort of part time job right now, anything," he stated.
Wall Street is in a slump and the economy is down across the board. But there are still openings, says Christopher Lenz of the Cal State Los Angeles Career Development Center.
“People leave jobs, they get promotions, they move away. So there’s always some turnover, there are always new openings, so it’s just a matter of hanging in there and keeping at it,” Lenz stated.
A non-profit organization called Operation Hope runs a cyber café in South Los Angeles, a largely minority neighborhood, where unemployed workers can search online for jobs.
Unemployed radio disk jockey Rodd Amos, at 50 years old, takes a systematic approach.
“Item number one: checking email to see if anyone has responded to my online applications," he explained. "Item number two is create emails to people that I want to talk to.”
He is looking for jobs in customer service or other fields outside of radio.
Job hunters hope that Washington can help. Rodd Amos hopes so too, but doesn’t count on it. “Because we cannot rely on the White House. It really comes down to us,” Amos said.
Adrian Dustin Munoz says, for him, the pressure is off after a phone call he got this week. The 25-year-old has been offered an entry-level job in the film industry. “At least for now, I don’t have to worry so much," he said. "I just have to show up to work and make sure I do well.”
Others, not so lucky, are doing their best to find work in a difficult job market.