The Labor Department released November unemployment numbers today. The report showed 15.4 million Americans are now unemployed and seeking work. That's down 325,000 from the October reading.
And while President Obama is brainstorming with his finest economic minds to find jobs for them, the fact is few firms have the cash or the confidence to add staff right now. Our Allan Chernoff reports in this American Morning original.
Read more: Job market shows big improvement
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is visiting NATO, meeting with world leaders to get their support for President Obama's surge strategy in Afghanistan.
Our John Roberts is there as well and had the chance to sit down, exclusively, one-on-one with Secretary Clinton. It was a wide-ranging talk. How many NATO troops will member nations commit? What can be done about the violence across the border in Pakistan? And what will the changes mean for U.S. forces already on the ground?
First up, Secretary Clinton talks about how many NATO troops are committed and what that will mean for U.S. forces on the ground.
Next, how the 18-month time line will play out. Plus, the challenge of transitioning power to Afghan forces, and Secretary Clinton responds to criticisms that the U.S. is going to "cut and run."
Editor's Note: "A Soldier's Story" is a new original series by CNN's "American Morning" that will track three military recruits from their final days as civilians through deployment. Our Jason Carroll has been given unprecedented access by the Pentagon as the president outlines a new strategy for the war in Afghanistan. In part two, a new recruit spends his first 24 hours in the Army.
By Adam Reiss
As 18-year-old Will McLain leaves home for the first time there are tearful goodbyes with his parents. His mother Lori certainly did not want this day to come.
Will and his recruiter Sgt. Sheldon Rivers take the two hour drive to the processing center in Los Angeles where Will registers for the Army. He is asked about his tattoo and his medical records are thoroughly checked before he heads into the seminar to learn proper procedures for standing at attention.
"Sir yes sir!" Will is taught how to keep shoulders back and his stomach tucked in.
"I'm anxious, but I'm glad it's finally starting – like one of those days you don't think it will come and like bam it's here," says Will.
"Does anyone have any doubts, reservations or restrictions about joining the military?" shouts the drill instructor. "No sir" is the response from everyone.
"When I tell you to you are going to exit this bus quickly and safely, but the key word being quickly. Do you understand!," barks drill sergeant Crystal Scott as Will's bus arrives at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. It's two hours outside of St. Louis and a world away from his home outside Los Angeles. More than 200 soldiers reported for duty with Will on his first day. 30,000 a year go through the 43rd AG Reception Station, at 600 a week.