"There's been some bad days, pretty depressing when you can't find what you are used to making," Susan Libowsky said.
Each time Susan Libowsky looks at the classifieds, the 45-year-old unemployed custodian hopes today's her lucky day.
"I knew it was going to be a little tough, but I didn't think it was going to be as tough as it has been," Libowsky said.
After getting letting go a few months back, Libowsky has failed to land a new job with her old wages. Thousands of Illinois workers can relate. Although the state pumped out 64,000 new jobs in the last year, a recent report says average income dropped off $6,000 since 1999.
"You need to go back to the 90's and begin to see the decline of manufacturing jobs and increase in the service sector, and clearly there's a pay difference between the two jobs," Rockford Area Economic Development Council's Janyce Fadden said.
Rockford area job recruiters say decreasing pay has been an increasing trend for years, in large part because of manufacturers taking business overseas. Meanwhile, here at home, Libowsky keeps her eyes on the classifieds.
"I hear the market gets better after the first of the year. So I hope things are picking up. I don't know, it's hard to say. In my field, I don't think so," Libowsky said.