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The Economy From The People's Perspective


This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin.

Disappointing. Dismal. Bleak. These are just a few of the words used to describe the latest employment report. It showed that the U.S. economy added just 69,000 jobs in May. That's less than half of what economists had expected. And this was the third consecutive month of weak results, which raises new concerns about the sputtering economic recovery.

So with the unemployment rate now at 8.2 percent, we asked people in Athens, Ohio and in Washington, D.C., how they're faring in this economy.

AMY YANNITY: My name is Amy Yannity and I work at the college bookstore, getting by like most people. Nothing great, you know. Nothing elaborate. But I came in before the computer and everything, so all the other kids are way ahead of me.

MARISOL ALCALDE: My name is Marisol Alcalde and I'm a college student at Trinity Washington University. It's definitely tough. You know, like I've looked around for jobs and none of them are hiring. And it seems like if they are they never hit you back up. But I'm expecting good change 'cause I'm just hopeful person. I'm just a very hopeful person. You got to keep looking. You never know.


CATHERINE BALL: Am I hopeful? Not really. I feel like it's going to get even worse. My name is Catherine Ball. I've been working at Potbelly Sandwich Shop for four and a half months. I get - I was here but my money's gone so quick. So it's just hard making minimum wage, I guess. It's good to have a job though. You know, I can't complain. I'm a hard worker, always been a hard worker.

GARY GINTHER: My name is Gary Ginther and I'm a fine arts librarian for Ohio University Libraries, making the necessary cutbacks here and there. We're really cut very thin right now. I think we probably discovered how much we could tighten the belt for the first time in a long time. I think it's a cyclical thing, the economy. And so, I know that it's going to ebb and flow. You know, I'm old enough now that I've experienced this more than once.

MARTIN: That was Gary Ginther and Amy Yannity of Athens, Ohio. Also, Catherine Ball and Marisol Alcalde of Washington, D.C. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.