It was a good year for manufacturing, especially in the Midwest. The Federal Reserve says Midwestern manufacturing has seen 28 consecutive months of growth — at higher rates than the rest of the country. But that doesn't mean that jobs lost during the recession are returning. The jobs that are available often call for highly skilled workers.
The Iraq War may be officially over, but for thousands of Iraqis who fled to America during the conflict, there's no going home. Many left successful careers to settle in Detroit, where finding a future is a challenge.
A Kaiser Family Foundation and NPR survey shows that many people enduring long-term joblessness have been relying more heavily on friends and family than government or other safety net services to get by. Many surveyed also say that, so far, the federal government's efforts to boost the economy and job market have done more harm than good.
Stocks ended up around close to where they started the year. Markets were mostly unfazed by the U.S. debt downgrade. But big changes in the European economy and governments in the Middle East made for a tumultuous year, when what sent the market into a tailspin often took place overseas.
For the long-term unemployed, getting a job isn't always the end of the story. In the next installment of NPR's Road Back to Work series, we check in with Randy Howland and Jennifer Barfield who both find themselves searching for work once again.
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