WASHINGTON, D.C. (WUSA) - The threat of the fiscal cliff has already impacted our local economy. In both the government and private sectors, businesses are facing such uncertainty that they're waiting before they make any new hires. Andrea McCarren is here to tell us what that means to job hunters.

It's made a difficult situation even tougher. A recent study revealed just how long an average recruiter looks at a resume. How much time would you guess? The answer is... And with the fiscal cliff looming, most hiring is on hold.

"It's frustrating but you have to do what you have to do and that's get up every morning and send off more resumes and make more contacts and do what you can," said Jennifer Hickey, a local job hunter.

Hickey has been pounding the pavement looking for work for a year. She's one of the new class of job hunters: educated, experienced and unemployed.

"Save maybe cleaning windows, I've applied to... across the board-government, private, non-profit," she said.

Laid off from a government contract position, Jennifer has applied for more than 300 jobs in the writing and communications fields over the last year.

"I've applied for internships...Unpaid internships. I will do freelance for free. Short of standing on the corner with a sign saying 'Will write for food,' " she said.

"Everybody is scared. Everybody feels an uncertainty," said Tom Morris, an employment coach.

Morris predicts that if we don't go over the fiscal cliff, the economic outlook is bright.

"There's a tremendous, pent-up amount of resources, energy and desire on the part of companies and organizations to move forward and do something...They're just waiting to see are we going over the cliff? " he said.

Until then, job seekers like Jennifer will keep trying.

With or without the fiscal cliff, Washington still has one of the strongest job markets in the country. Among the top prospects are careers in higher education, the high-tech industry and healthcare.

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