Unemployment remains high in Paul Ryan’s hometown

Recession recovery continues in Janesville
Unemployment remains high in Paul Ryan’s hometown

The landscape in Rock County reflects the reality many residents are living with — almost anywhere one looks there’s a sign of another empty office.

“It’s just really a tough time,” said Rock County resident Amanda Nichols, who said she is struggling to stay afloat financially.

WISC-TV asked Nichols, Amanda Bushey and Russ Douglas what it felt like to be unemployed.

“To me, what it means to be unemployed is honestly just to be in this hole that is just continuously getting deeper and deeper and deeper and deeper, and by the time you get a way to help, there’s no way to fill the hole,” Bushey said.

“You don’t feel like you’re good for anything — you’re just useless feeling,” Douglas said.

Joblessness in Janesville

“I have a 10-year-old son,” Nichols said. “I don’t want him to think of his mother as useless or worthless.”

All three have gone back to school. Nichols completed a medical assistant program. Bushey said she hopes to be a nurse.

Douglas said he will finish an Information Technology degree in December.

He said he is looking toward the November election. The former General Motors electrician said he knows what he’s looking for.

“There should be more money put into the economy to create jobs for infrastructure,” Douglas said.

In his hometown of Janesville, Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan is very popular.

Even people who don’t agree with him said they genuinely like him. But in a county with more than 9 percent unemployment, this election cycle, Rock County residents are listening more closely than ever before.

Douglas said plans to cast his November ballot for President Barack Obama.

Bushey and Nichols said they aren’t yet sure who they will vote for.

“I’m kind of 50/50. I’m undecided. (Ryan) is a Janesville native, and that’s nice and all, but we want action people; we want the economy to be better,” Nichols said.

“(Do we) make a guess on are they telling (us) what they are really planning on doing, or are they just saying what we want to hear?” said Bushey.

They all said they want results — not rhetoric — and are hoping to see Wisconsin’s Park Place and the nation back at work. 

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