KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) --- Somewhere behind that growing stack of papers is Steve Luxford.
He's sitting in a plastic chair at the Tennessee Career Center in Knoxville going through a routine he's perfected over five years.
Looking through job listings trying to "get my life back together", as he puts it.
Luxford has been looking for half a decade.
He finally cashed a paycheck in March after taking a medical courier job that he loves, but he's still looking for a career.
" I've had," he says with a pause "I've had some tough times, but you know, once again. Just don't give up the fight."
Luxford is one of many in Tennessee that were using extended unemployment benefits, which, if he didn't take the courier job, would be running out this week.
Believe it or not that's actually good news for Tennessee.
The unemployment rate in the state has shrunk low enough that it can't qualify for extended federal benefits.
More companies are hiring, 400 jobs are open.
And if the rate keeps falling benefits will keep shrinking, by the end of 2012 federal benefits might be over.