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OYS: Area unemployed struggling to find work despite improved job numbers

News 12 at 6 O'Clock, May 27, 2010

JACKSON, S.c. -- Millions of people are still unemployed despite the latest employment statistics, which suggest the job market is improving.

In the CSRA, the unemployment rate dropped to 8.5 percent in April. In March, 9.2 percent of the region was out of work.

But there are still those like Ginger Cartin, who spends most of her time at home. She's been out of work for two years and relies on support from friends, family, and of course, unemployment benefits.

"I need them," says Ginger, "but I've been making it OK with support from family and side jobs. I'm surviving. I'm not thriving."

Her remarkably positive attitude sustains, even though her luck at finding a job hasn't improved. She has a temporary job as a custodian.

"I don't get to go put the little Jon Boat in and go fishing, but you know, that's the way it is, when times get tough you change what you do," adds Ginger. "You buy store brand instead of major label or whatever you need to do, and you find ways to entertain yourself that doesn't cost anything."

To support herself, she's strung together other temporary jobs.

"Cleaning for people, painting, sanding, patching, there's not much I haven't done."

And not much she doesn't save. A bucket in her garden holds rainwater which she uses to water her fruits and vegetables -- squash, bell peppers, tomatoes, and watermelons.

She wishes she could spend more of her time somewhere else and not rely on those benefits.

"I just want a decent 40 hour a week job, doesn't matter where as long as the people are nice, the job lasts. That's all that's really important to me."


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