The last unemployment checks are in the mail for many Americans

FRESNO, California

Mark Huerta says the thought of losing his unemployment benefits has made the holiday season even more stressful. "For sure it'll end right at the end of the year pretty much so and then if it doesn't get extended then I'll be starting the New Year with nothing. I'm trying to set it up so I get some food assistance or something."

Alicia Barajas was busy updating her resume at Workforce Connection. She's been looking for administrative work. "I actually received a letter letting me know I was on my last extension and I have zero benefits available so now I'm waiting on the mail to hear something from them so yeah it's really scary."

Experts say they've noticed more job listings lately but the positions are coveted by so many people.

Barajas explains, "It's just a matter of beating them to the punch."

Job placement centers like Denham Resources are encouraged by recent movement in the job market. Kathy Bray says some companies are beginning to hire again. "Just generally administrative level positions. Anything from receptionists to full-charge bookkeepers, accountants."

Bray says for the first time in two years she's even starting to notice high-level job openings. "We're seeing some of the larger manufacturing and food processing companies looking for some really high level people, so hundred-thousand plus dollar jobs. But that being said they're very specific in what they need."

On Capitol Hill a deadline has passed with no decision to extend jobless benefits.

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