U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke testifying on Capitol Hill this month about how the U.S. economy still needs the assistance of the Fed. At the end of March, however, the agency plans to stop purchasing mortgage-backed securities. hide caption

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The Census Bureau is benefiting from more educated workers who can't get jobs in their chosen fields because of the sluggish economy. Spencer Platt/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Spencer Platt/Getty Images

"How do you explain to a 2-year-old or 4-year-old there's nothing to eat?" asks Kathy, a homeless mother. Michael Nye hide caption

itoggle caption Michael Nye

Shana Berenzweig holds Wills, a friend's son whom she babysits to make extra money while looking for a full-time job. Berenzweig graduated with a master's degree two years ago. Courtesy of Shana Berenzweig hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of Shana Berenzweig