September 1, 2009 5:24 PM

For the long-term unemployed, recovery talk rings hollow

As America prepares to salute its working people this Labor Day weekend, Matthew McCaffery is in no mood to celebrate. As a senior waiter for 12 years at The Prime Rib, one of Washington's most venerable eateries, McCaffery was a man in demand, the preferred choice of the powerful and the envy of fellow waiters who bristled when the best customers requested his services, and his only. After a lifetime in food service during which he's worked as a chef, bartender, dining room manager and even restaurant manager, McCaffery, 48, has been jobless for 13 months.

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