(CBS) - The economic jam we're in has topped even the Great Depression in one respect: never have we had a recession this deep with a recovery this flat. Unemployment has been at nine and a half percent or above for 14 months.
Congress did something that it has never done before - it extended unemployment benefits to 99 weeks. That cost more than $100 billion, a huge expense for a government in debt.
But now, for many Americans 99 weeks have passed and there's still no job in sight. Some have taken to calling themselves the "99ers."
"60 Minutes" and correspondent Scott Pelley went to several communities in search of the 99ers, but we didn't expect to find such a crisis in Silicon Valley, the high tech capital that many people hoped would be creating jobs.
If you want to understand why the economy is stalled, come to San Jose, Calif., and talk with 99ers like Marianne Rose. "I remember it coming close to like six months. I was saying, 'I can't believe I'm out of work this long.' Then the year mark hit. And I just started just panicking seriously. Now that it's over two years I can't believe it. I just, I can't believe it," she told Pelley.
Rose was a financial analyst at a real estate firm. Age 54, she's single with a grown daughter. After being laid off with about 100 co-workers, she spent her savings, lost her home and finally found herself sitting in a truck with her dog and all of her possessions.