Living on food stamps in the US
6 October 2011 Last updated at 20:04 BST
One in five African Americans of working age in President Obama's home city does not have a job.
The unemployment rate for blacks in Chicago is 21%, more than double the national average.
Michael Rivers is one of them. As a factory foreman who worked for 23 years for the same firm, he earned more than $20 an hour and had responsibility for up to 20 workers. That all changed in 2007 when he turned up for work and the whole area was locked down.
He has tried hard to find a job, and every week goes for training at the job centre. But there are few jobs around for an unskilled 50-year-old.