(NEW YORK) -- On Wall Street this week, experts are expecting more evidence that the banks are back with record profits in the forecast, but American workers are still looking for jobs even with these corporate windfalls.
Banks may be optimistic, but Dawn Rayner is not. "I am two months behind on the mortgage. I have enough to pay the utilities for maybe this month and then I have absolutely not a penny left," Rayner says. Dawn is a 99er, one of 1.5 million Americans who've been unemployed for 99 weeks or more and have run out of unemployment benefits. The tax bill recently signed into law doesn't extend unemployment benefits beyond 99 weeks.
In rallies and online, the 99ers are organizing. The websites are part support group, part petition to Congress to pass legislation to extend benefits for people like Dawn. Even with a master's degree, and thousands of resume submissions...still, no job. She collected her last unemployment check nine months ago. "At this point the only jobs that I see available in my area are drivers from Pizza Hut, I've sent them resumes as well."
People out of work for more than a year only have a nine percent chance of being rehired. "I think the job market is starting to rev up at just the right time to provide these folks with some opportunity when they desperately need it" according to Mark Zandi, Chief Economist with Moody's. For the first time in more than three years, the job market is expected to show stronger gains in 2011.
In fact, in a recent survey, forty-five percent of CEOs said they plan to add jobs this year, but Zandi says not so fast. "It is going to be a tough slog. It's going to take a while to re-employ all these people."
Many economists say we're not talking months, but years.
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