(CBS News) -- The Labor Department said today that another 362,000 Americans have joined the line for unemployment benefits, but the good news is that the number of people who have been out of work 27 weeks or more -- the long-term unemployed--is trending downward.
The number of long-term unemployed rose from 1,780,000 in the fall of 2006 to 6.7 million in the spring of 2010. Since then, it has fallen to around 4.7 million.
Jack Walerius is one of the long-term unemployed. He has not had a full-time job for more than three years. He now spends his time volunteering at an unemployment networking group.
"From my perspective, from my eyes, I still see that we're in a deep recession," Walerius told CBS.
Walerius used to sell advertising to car dealerships. He is now one of the 4.7 million Americans who have been without work for more than six months. The long-term unemployed often find that employers are worried their skills have degraded and also wonder why they have been unemployed for so long. Those who do land a job earn on average 17% less than they did before.
Asked how many jobs he has applied or interviewed for, Walerius replied "too many to count."
Walerius and other white collar workers in California spoke with CBS's Scott Pelley back in 2011. Since then, Walerius has been living off of savings. He worked at a COSTCO for two months over the holidays and at 61 years old, he is not picky about the jobs he is willing to take.
"Quite frankly the seasonal job I had, I was hoping would turn into a full-time job and if that's what's out there that's what I would take right now, he said."
Walerius says that volunteering keeps him sane and gets him out of the house.
And what does he say to people who think he just isn't trying hard enough?
"You have to walk a mile in my shoes," he said "I just hope it never happens to you."
Walerius recently had his first in-person job interview in four months. He is still waiting for an answer.
MESA, Ariz. (AP) - Mesa police have released the identity of a 14-year-old girl whose dead body was found in a trash container and say her death was a homicide. Police say the body of Claudia Ann LuceroMore >>
Police say the body of Claudia Ann Lucero was found early Friday and that she was last seen Thursday morning at her home.More >>
PRESCOTT, Ariz. (AP) - A California family has its dog back, a year and a half after it went missing while the family was camping in western Arizona. The Daily Courier (http://bit.ly/18wyRH5 ) reportsMore >>
Meko had wandered off from the family's tent at a campground in Parker on the Fourth of July weekend in 2012, apparently taken by a man who also was in the campground.More >>
SPRINGFIELD, Vt. (AP) — Before Aaron Collins died, he gave his brother, Seth, a mission: Eat, be merry and leave a giant tip. On Wednesday night, Seth Collins of Lexington, Ky., did just that, leavingMore >>
Before Aaron Collins died, he gave his brother, Seth, a mission: Eat, be merry and leave a giant tip.More >>
EL CENTRO, CALIF. (13 On Your Side) - Officials have released some of the names of the people arrested during Wednesday's massive drug trafficking bust in Imperial Valley. But as we previously reported,More >>
Officials have released some of the names of the people arrested during Wednesday's massive drug trafficking bust in Imperial Valley.More >>
YUMA, Ariz. (13 On Your Side) - More than 30 teams showed up to Yuma Catholic's annual Rachel Determan Rib Cook-Off, ready to grill and show off their best ribs. This year, "the Chicharones" took homeMore >>
More than 30 teams showed up to Yuma Catholic's annual Rachel Determan Rib Cook-Off, ready to grill and show off their best ribs.More >>
YUMA, Ariz. (13 On Your Side) – In a massive drug sting aimed at one of the most powerful Mexican drug cartels, the Imperial Valley Narcotics Task force arrested ten drug smugglers trafficking meth andMore >>
In a massive drug sting aimed at one of the most powerful Mexican drug cartels, the Imperial Valley Narcotics Task force arrested ten drug smugglers trafficking meth and cocaine across the border from Mexicali.More >>
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - Jurors resumed deliberations Monday on the punishment for an Arizona inmate who kidnapped and murdered a retired Oklahoma. The federal panel is considering whether John McCluskeyMore >>
The couple crossed paths with McCluskey and fellow fugitives at a New Mexico rest stop following an Arizona prison break.More >>