Rich Johnson decided to attend Blackhawk Technical College to work on an associate degree after being laid off from Lear Corp. but stopped soon after due to a back injury. He now is struggling with  the loss of health insurance and unemployment benefits. "I wake up in the morning and I think, 'What direction am I going to go today?' Then other days I think 'I'm taking a break ... I'm tired,' " Johnson said.

Safety net frayed for workers who supplied GM

After two years of unemployment, Rich Johnson has skidded into scary territory. The 55-year-old is among many in Rock County who’ve endured six months or more of unemployment. They are part of a grim statistic that casts a long shadow over the recovering economy.