And while the economy is hardly thriving anywhere, there are signs that the hemorrhaging is slowing. Fewer people are being fired. Layoffs are down 38 percent from the peak level in September 2009.
Still, Americans like Arlaia Moxley, a Texas resident who's been out of work since she lost her job as a materials purchasing coordinator at a startup company in September 2008, are having a hard time finding solace in those statistics or the president's plan.
"I'm not confident that the government can help," she said. "Every day that I come out and I look is one step more hopeful than sitting at home and crying about it."