The pain of unemployment: A local couple's story

Local family struggles through the pain of unemployment

SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - 14-million Americans are out of work and according to the latest jobs report, the Ark-La-Tex is faring much better than the nation as a whole, but the jobless here are suffering just the same.

"We have five small children and no income whatsoever."

Dawn Baker says her husband lost his job in March.

"He's never been down this long. Before, it's been like a week or two of him being home."

Two and a half months later, he hasn't found anything. The only job dawn has been able to land was at a gas station. It lasted a week.

"Me having five kids, not having transportation, and being in the situation I'm in, they let me go," says Dawn.

She says their application for food stamps was denied.

"I thought that's what food stamps and that stuff was there for, when you're down and you need a little help. Our church has been pretty much supplying everything in our household for the past two months."

Millions of Americans are in similar shape thanks to consistently high unemployment.

"9.1 percent for the nation, that's pretty bad," says Jacques Lasseigne with the Louisiana Workforce Commission.

Jacques Lasseigne says Louisiana is at 7.4 percent and for Shreveport-Bossier, it's 6.6 percent. But he says businesses everywhere are hesitant to make plans for the future.

"When they're hesitant, they don't hire people. They don't make plans to expand," says Jacques.

Many are saving up because of higher costs to run. One reason, he says, is healthcare.

"Unless they get a waiver they'll be paying a lot more for health insurance for their employees or they gotta lay people off to afford the healthcare premiums."

So folks like Dawn do what they can to make ends meet.

Dawn says, "I've put signs up at the mailboxes for babysitting, mowing yards, cleaning house. I have tried," but to no avail, so she clings to hope that a change comes soon.

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