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The Capitol Hill debate highlights more than just the deep ideological differences between the two parties. To some extent, it also illustrates how different parts of the country are faring economically after the Great Recession.
The national unemployment rate has dipped slightly below 7 percent, but some states’ rates are significantly higher than that and some much lower.
At 4.6 percent, Minnesota’s is well below the national average, yet many residents still haven’t bounced back from the depths of the recession.
Robin Pollard of Burnsville is among them.
Pollard has been out of work since January 2013 after losing her $20-per-hour job as a Scott County administrative assistant. Despite applying for 120 jobs in the past year, she’s drawn almost no interest from potential employers. She shared her story during a roundtable discussion that Franken held in Minnesota this month.
With the clock ticking on mortgage forbearance assistance that lowers her monthly payments, Pollard has resorted to raiding her retirement accounts to keep her Burnsville townhouse.
“Since our fate lies in the hands of certain politicians, my recommendation would be that no one [in Congress] receives one penny of their salary until the bickering stops and the issue is resolved,” Pollard said. “This certainly would be a great motivator for them to do what’s right, in a timely manner.”