WISC-TV is one of several media organizations participating in the We the People Wisconsin 2012 Economy project, which asked its participants this month their feelings about the job market and whether they think politicians can actually make a difference.
WISC-TV's Jessica Arp spoke with the Klarich family of Oregon to get their thoughts on the issue.
Retail sales and everything that goes with it is a clean slate for David Klarich, who is now in his second career.
"It started out as something that was part-time and I needed a job, to something I enjoy and took an effort to become full-time," Klarich said.
The former audio engineer took a buyout from his company when the economy took a hit, but finding a job in sales wasn't easy.
"I couldn't even find a job in fast food or anything like that because it was that difficult to get a job," Klarich said. "On average, I would say that out of every 20 resumes I put out, I'd be lucky if I had one contact back."
His wife Odessa is now at the beginning stages of a job search herself. After spending a year at home with their son, she's looking for a job as a medical assistant.
"I haven't made a resume in 12 years, and I just kind of walked into that job, applied and got it and it was great," Odessa said. "Now it's going to be tougher."
She's trying to become the second income in their multi-generational household. David's parents Jim and Lauralyn are both retired and living off their retirement income.
They said they're reliant on the economy growing for Odessa's job possibilities and even David entering a new phase of his career. But when the family hears political candidates talk about jobs or the economy, they said they are often skeptical.
"I think it's something they are telling us to try to win votes," David said of politicians who promise to create jobs. "I don't think anybody has a good solution of how to fix it."
"I don't know how one candidate can be in charge of that," said Odessa. "It isn't like he or she is going to go build a plant and say, 'OK, here are 100 jobs for people.'"
They're not sure what the answer is as far as creating jobs in the economy. David said it could be helpful for them to make it easier for those with jobs to go back to school to get another skill, or even offer aid for them to do so.
Odessa said measures that could keep jobs here rather than overseas may be the answer.
Thankful he has a job, and hoping for one for his wife, David said his second career is even better than he expected.
"It's definitely different than what I'm used to doing, but sometimes change is OK," said David.
To read more about other families participating in the We the People Wisconsin 2012 Economy project, go to http://www.wtpeople.com.
Editor's Note: To show the realities of day-to-day life in the state while studying the proposed policies and solutions suggested by statewide political candidates, WISC-TV, in conjunction with other media partners, has begun a new series as part of the "We the People Wisconsin 2012 Economy Project." Every month from now until the fall elections, the project will present stories from across the state of families who describe how they are coping with the challenging economy.