George Parks has been out of work for 21 months and his unemployment benefits will run out at the end of the month.
At 60, he fears his prospects of getting a job are very slim, even though he has a degree in civil engineering and has vast experience in project management.
A similar story is recounted by John Jones, 52, a fellow resident of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. Jones lost his teaching job last July as the Pennsylvania state government tried to close a funding shortfall.
Advertisement - story continues below
Parks and Jones are among the nearly 7 million Americans receiving jobless benefits under seven different state and federal programs. Around a quarter of those will fall off the rolls in January if Congress does not renew an extended benefits program that expires at year end.