Nightly News | February 04, 2011
>>> we got the jobs report for the month of january this morning, and some of the numbers are puzzling. just 36,000 jobs were added to the nation's payrolls. about 110,000 fewer than expected, but look at this. at the same time, somehow the unemployment rate dropped sharply to 9%. that's an important number, it's a big deal . experts say severe weather and other factors have complicated the overall picture, but so many people have been looking for work much longer than they expected to. nbc's john yang has our report tonight from chicago.
>> reporter: tony warren hasn't had steady work since he was laid off from his video production job two and a half years ago. he's burned through his savings and sold his motorcycle and more.
>> i'll go around the house and just go we don't need that, we don't need that, we don't need that and i'll put it up on ebay.
>> reporter: last month he and his wife, deanne, got help to pay the mortgage from their pregnant daughter and her husband.
>> this is hard for me because it's very humbling. but we come down and there's $500 sitting on our desk. and deanne and i look at each other and go "where did that come from?"
>> reporter: so many have been out of work so long the government is now tracking people who have been unemployed for as many as five years. the average length of unemployment is nine months, an all-time record.
>> we've just never seen anything like this since the great depression. having this severe of job loss that's lasted for this long has translated into unprecedented lengths of unemployment.
>> reporter: the toll is more than just financial.
>> it starts wearing on you. you question your ability as a person, you know, what's wrong with me.
>> reporter: psychologist reginald richardson says he sees depression and anxiety in people out of work for about a year.
>> as their unemployment continues, then we see even greater symptoms. people having rage, greater frustration, disappointment, hopelessness.
>> reporter: warren stays hopeful by volunteering at the same food bank he relies on for affordable meals.
>> we're going to make it through this.
>> come hell or high water , we're going to make it through it.
>> reporter: looking forward to the day he can start to pay back all the help he's getting from those around him. john yang , nbc news, chicago.