"I am frightened by the number of empty storefronts I see when I go into town," she said. "And it's a little scary to see how quiet things are getting, even more so than normal for this time of year, I think.
"So, yeah, parts of the Phoenix area are starting to look like ghost towns for me. And I think that is a result of our economy."
It is typical for unemployment to rise after a recession ends as discouraged job seekers try to re-enter the workforce. And after the past few recessions, it has taken even longer for unemployment to peak. After the end of the 2001 recession, it took 19 months.
Scott Ruecker, 39, of Phoenix, who has been trying to find steady work all year, said, "Anyone who thinks the recession is over lives in a different reality.
"It's been impossible to find a job that pays me more than I get in unemployment. A lot of sales jobs want you to work for free for three months. Anyone who wants a job like that doesn't need one."
He is seeking a job in tech support, but it seems to him that everyone who has those jobs is keeping them.
Job outlook better
Arizona doesn't have an organization like the economic research bureau to establish when the economy expands or contracts, and regional economists vary in the measures they use. The one indicator they seem to favor at the state level is employment. The data are reported monthly and considered reliable.
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