Jobless Texan isn't hopeful after hearing president's speech

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by STEVE STOLER

WFAA

Posted on January 26, 2011 at 2:04 AM

Updated Wednesday, Jan 26 at 9:56 AM

FRISCO — New numbers show the Texas unemployment rate held steady in December at 8.3 percent. That includes a lot of North Texans who want to work.

Many were anxiously watching President Obama's State of the Union address Tuesday night to hear how the president plans to help.

The president spent a lot of time talking about jobs. He mentioned the word “jobs” at least two dozen times.

But those words didn’t offer hope to some local jobless workers.

Jeremy Richmond is unemployed. He has been looking for work since he graduated from college last year. He has applied for positions in the ministry, the hotel industry and even at a video store.

But he hasn't had any luck anywhere.

“It's depressing. It's disappointing,” Richmond said.

The president expressed uncertainty about what industry will create new jobs. That troubled the former Oral Roberts University student, who says it doesn’t give him much hope for finding work now.

“All the jobs he was talking about were technology-based jobs," Richmond said. "My degree is in music."

Collin College political science professor Mike McConachie says if Obama's plan to increase free trade and work on the country's infrastructure comes to fruition, it will mean jobs.

A 2010 report found that every time a billion dollars was spent on highway infrastructure, it produced more than 10,000 jobs a month.

“All of those have the potential to create jobs, but not right away," Dr. McConachie said.

Jeremy Richmond says new jobs in the future are fine, but that's not helping him find work so he can pay his bills now.

E-mail sstoler@wfaa.com

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