Related: 'The worst time of my life': The job hunt remains a struggle

Interview: Tanya Duncanson

Friday, September 16th, 2011 

Below is an edited transcript of a recent interview with Tanya Duncanson conducted by Naima Ramos-Chapman. Duncanson has been looking for a job for almost six years. 

How long have you been looking?

Since 2006 ... I am competing with recent college grads, and I don't have a degree ... That makes my prospects, like I said, very grim.

So how have you been making ends meet?
I am being supported by my husband.

He is employed. If I didn't have my husband, I don't know what I would do.

I was laid off. The company for which I worked found an automated company to do the radio frequency coordination that I performed by hand.

If you could guesstimate how many resumes you've sent out...
I would say I sent out about 1,000 resumes.

How many interviews?
How many interviews? oh, maybe five.

And job fairs?
Job fairs are just a general waste of time ... They weren't really taking applications or resumes even though we were told to bring resumes. Nobody wanted a resume. I have probably already done everything they suggested. There were a few new companies here, and I could check those out.

Do you have any children?
One grown child, 27.

Has she been able to find work?
She just finished nursing school, and after a search of about a year ... she found a job through a job fair.

So there is some hope...

What Went Wrong

Donald Barlett and James Steele are revisiting America: What Went Wrong, their landmark 1991 newspaper series, in a new project with the Investigative Reporting Workshop. Over the next year, the project team will examine how four decades of public policy has shaped America's ongoing economic crisis.


Back Story

The authors talk about What Went Wrong

Donald Barlett and James Steele talk about the project, and why they decided to revisit a book they wrote two decades ago, in a series of video clips produced by the Workshop.

Nation's Story

Who pays the taxes?

Who pays the taxes?

We feature charts, maps, photos and other visualizations that reflect the state of the economy as part of our What Went Wrong project. This column chart shows the growing disparity between what individuals and corporations pay in taxes. In the 1950s, the difference was 22 percent. Recent figures show the difference is 62 percent.

Rags to rags: Economic mobility hard to come by

New Pew Center on States report confirms that moving up the American economic ladder is difficult, even though most people have more income than their parents.

Homelessness takes it toll on Florida's youngest

Florida, as a center of the housing boom, still struggles to recover from the Great Recession. Financial stresses and widespread foreclosures have placed families in precarious situations, resulting in a spike in child homelessness. Susannah Nesmith reports in the Broward Bulldog.

Older workers face challenges in Silicon Valley

An advanced degree and experience in the tech sector should be a ticket to a job in today's economy. But older workers in the heart of the new economy, Silicon Valley, are finding their resume is not the issue. Aaron Glantz reports in The Bay Citizen.

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Read an Excerpt

The Betrayal of the American Dream on Google Books

The Betrayal of the American Dream on Google Books

Check out the first chapter of Barlett and Steele's 2012 book here.