Obama, Romney offer different solutions to unemployed

Tim Perry lost his job twice in the past four years.
CBS News

(CBS News) WAYNESVILLE, Ohio - Americans are living in hunger. The Department of Agriculture said Wednesday that nearly 15 percent of households - almost 18 million - don't have enough money to feed themselves adequately.

One reason, of course, is unemployment. The next report on that comes out on Friday, the day after the Democratic National Convention ends.

The report comes as Tim Perry, like many other Americans, is a labor statistic again. For the second time in the past four years, he is out of work.

"It just seems like there's so many jobs that I apply for and I hear nothin' from 'em," Perry said.

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The 44-year-old lost his first job as a fork lift operator at the Wilmington, Ohio, facility of Airborne Express in 2008.

"I felt that the world kind of ended," Perry said.

Perry was one of some 8,000 workers let go when the facility was shut down. He had spent 20 years, more than half his life, working there.

He remembered being unsure of his job prospects at that point.

"Didn't know what I was gonna do," Perry said. "I planned on retirin' there."

Retrained as a heating and air conditioning technician, Perry found work at a Dayton company called Commercial Parts & Service and felt "relieved."

"I felt real good about myself again," he said.

But the pay was lower. Perry has a wife and four children to support, two with type 1 diabetes. So this year, when CSX - a transportation supply company - offered him a train conductor's job with first class health insurance, he took it. Then last month, just 19 weeks after he started, he was laid off again.

"It came as a major shock," Perry said.

Both presidential candidates promise to improve the job picture.

President Barack Obama promises to lower the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 28 percent to give businesses more money to hire. He also pledged to put $3 billion into job retraining to help 22 million workers.

Republican nominee Mitt Romney would cut the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 25 percent as a part of a plan to create 20 million jobs in the next 4 years. He supports job retraining, but would ship the burden to states and private companies.

Tim Perry recently returned to the heating and air conditioning company he had worked for, looking for his old job back. He said he thinks he has great qualifications.

"I feel like I'm a great candidate for a job," Perry said. "If somebody takes a chance on me, they'll never regret it."

Like Tim Perry, nearly 13 million Americans are waiting for that same chance.

  • Anthony Mason

    CBS News senior business and economics correspondent; Co-host, "CBS This Morning: Saturday"