The media are putting on a happy face about economic recovery, rah-rahing every positive "indicator" and pumping up consumer confidence. But not everyone is singing a happy tune.
Don Goede of Manitou Springs is the executive director of a local foundation
Do you share recent optimism that the economic recession is over? I think so, but the next six months will be crucial. Oil prices and the housing market are going to cause a dip. If we can stay focused beyond that and keep consumer confidence up, we'll get through it.
Do you know anyone who's found a job lately? Oh, lots. At least 10 people. It takes thinking outside the box, though. It could mean taking two or three small jobs, it could mean taking a lower paying job. It might require some sacrifices.
Do you fear for the future of your job? Yes and no. I've lost half my clients over the past two years. My income was halved, so I have to think differently, work harder to find new revenue streams, weigh revenue options that I normally wouldn't.
Michelle Helton of Denver is an Air Force employee
How confident are you that the recession is ending? Not very. They're saying the jobless rate is dropping, but I know from word of mouth among friends how much people are struggling. And the housing market is supposed to decline further.
Do you know anyone who's lost a job lately? My mom was doing filing for a medical claims company that downsized and let her go. I've had to help her get by.
Do you know anyone who's gained a job lately? I can't think of a single one.
Is it your sense that things will decline in the future, hold steady, or improve? Things will decline for the foreseeable future. We're unwilling to increase taxes to pay for infrastructure, we aren't keeping jobs in the United States, and we aren't funding education.
Charlene Fields of Rockrimmon is an elementary school nurse
How confident are you that the recession is ending? I don't buy it. Everywhere I look I still see houses for sale. Gas prices are going up. I haven't seen a pay raise in three years.
Do you fear for the future of your job? I do, although there hasn't been an explicit threat as yet. Funding for schools is being slashed, though.
Is your vision of the future more optimistic or pessimistic? I'm generally an optimistic person. I'd like to believe things will get better.
If you could have the job of your dreams, what would that job be? I'd open a clothing boutique.
— Bob Campbell