Economic crisis making it hard for unemployed to find work

The economic crisis isn't making it any easier for people without a job.

Evelyn Oates comes to a park in Bartlett to relax and help ease the stress of looking for a job, but lately it's become a burden that is too hard to bear.
"Friends can't help you.  People who have the possibility to help you get a job, they don't help you. They just let you fall," Oates said.

Oates has over 25 years of administrative secretary experience, but she's been unemployed since 2007.  She has already lost her home and does not know where she's going to get the money for her next meal.

"It's hard to have one meal a day and people look at my weight and that's what annoys me.  They say I'm overweight because I eat a lot. Well, I'm overweight because I don't have any food," Oates said.

Already $20,000 in debt, Oates has been using credit cards just to make ends meet and she owes the bank.

"I pay my bills on money that's not physically here and once a month $700 is deposited into my bank. But that is to cover what I have already spent," Oates said.

While the ongoing search for a job has been tedious, Oates said she is trying hard not to get angry.

"I'm bitter because to me it's a mind game.  It's not necessary.  Too many people are unemployed.  We don't want to work in factories and warehouses.  We have skills.  We're qualified.  Let us work," Oates said.

Oates is not alone. Unemployment in multiple Tennessee counties is up by as much as 2 percent from this time last year.

Click here to e-mail Jamel Major.