The Road Back To Work NPR is following six people in the greater St. Louis area who started 2011 unemployed and are searching for work.
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The Road Back To Work

NPR is following six people in the greater St. Louis area who are searching for work.

Casaundra Bronner, of Hazelwood, Mo., worked in marketing before being laid off in March 2010. She found a job again in March 2011 but is still uninsured and having trouble getting the health care she needs. Whitney Curtis for NPR hide caption

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Whitney Curtis for NPR

Audio diaries, Jan. 6 and 7, 2011: "I'm going to sell, sell, sell myself…"

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Audio diary, Jan. 21, 2011: "I just got an e-mail back..."

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Audio diary, Jan. 10, 2011: "Today is our three-month anniversary…"

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Audio diary, Jan. 17, 2011: "Our family is definitely feeling the pinch…"

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Audio diary, Jan. 6, 2011: "…I better be making some bacon."

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Audio diary, Jan. 18, 2011: "I'll try and go into the library and do some research…"

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Randy Howland works in his small office in March, shortly after he began a work-from-home job with a call center earning $10 an hour. Tamara Keith/NPR hide caption

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Tamara Keith/NPR

When The Road Back To Work Detours

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Ray Meyer, 55, had a 30-year career in banking before losing his job. He's been rolling from one temp assignment to the next since February. Tamara Keith/NPR hide caption

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Tamara Keith/NPR

Ray Meyer researches potential employers at the library near his home in Kirkwood, Mo. He says the uncertainty of temp work is gnawing away at him. Tamara Keith/NPR hide caption

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Tamara Keith/NPR

Bumps On The Road Back To Work

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Before and after shots of Randy Howland. Howland grew out his hair and beard while working from home but decided to cut it off before a job interview. Lisa Howland hide caption

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Lisa Howland

Brian and Jennifer Barfield met at a networking group for the unemployed. This is one of their engagement photos. Courtesy of the Barflields hide caption

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Courtesy of the Barflields

Lisa Howland says her husband, Randy, smiles a lot more now that he's working, even though the job doesn't pay enough to cover all their bills. Tamara Keith/NPR hide caption

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Tamara Keith/NPR

Returning To Work: The Satisfaction Of Having A Job

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Annica Trotter prepares for a day at work at her new job as a receptionist. Tamara Keith/NPR hide caption

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Tamara Keith/NPR

The Thrill Of A Job, And The Worry Over Digging Out

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For The Long-Term Unemployed, The Hunt Continues

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