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Audio slideshow: On the streets in one of America's hardest hit communities Add to ...

The rise in joblessness and poverty, declining household incomes - this is the story of countless American families one year before the 2012 presidential election. As the United States prepares to head in to a busy election year, we look at one county that is among the hardest hit. Rowan County, North Carolina, is not the epicentre of poverty in the US, but it has seen a dramatic drop in household incomes during Barack Obama's presidency. Our correspondent Sonia Verma meets the ordinary Americans of Salisbury - a laid-off mill worker and a former nurse - how are they coping?

Follow us on Twitter: @affanchowdhry, @soniaverma

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