PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The search for work has become a full time job of its own for Wayne Hood.

“It’s like a job before you get a job,” sighed Hood.

And his job Thursday brought him to Grace United Methodist Church for a career fair.

“You got my resume?” Hood asked of all the employers.

From one table to the next, the former bus driver looked for work with the same determination that has kept him going the last six months.

“I believe one day I’ll get the job I’m looking for,” Hood said.

As the unemployment rate hovers near 9.6 percent, nearly nine million Americans are collecting unemployment, unable to find work.

“Even if you get out of school, it’s not enough to get a job,” said Yvonne Everett. “It’s not enough.”

Now experts say the number of unemployed workers who have stopped looking for work has hit a record high of more than a million people, as unemployed workers get discouraged by the job hunt.

Training coordinator Ashley Eisenhart said the economy is forcing people to change their job search strategy.

“You see a lot of people looking below what their skill level is,” said Eisenhart, “because, unless they do that, they won’t find work.”

Nearly two million Americans will run out of unemployment benefits at the end of the month if Congress does not pass an extension. Of those millions, 18,000 live in Philadelphia.

Reported By: Oren Liebermann, CBS 3

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