One of the top challenges facing both residents and elected officials across the nation is the unemployment rate at more than 9 percent, which is made even more dire by a lack of positive prospects for the near future.

Arizona Illustrated wanted to know what local residents were thinking about this topic, so producer Mark McLemore and photojournalist Steve Riggs visited downtown Tucson at lunch time to ask for some opinions.

Sharing some of their thoughts are (in order of appearance) working student Hector, downtown office employee Maria, attorney Charles, retiree Joyce, rancher and retired home builder Andy, currently unemployed Joseph, and working student Amber.