Inflation is up, growth is down, and employers are cutting workers. This is a wonderfully uncertain time to be unemployed or underemployed.
I receive job notices from several job-finding websites based on criteria I set. I can use the number of job listings as an indicator of the market. Back in December, I was receiving about 30 new positions a week from my Jobster.com search agent. The past two weeks there have been zero new jobs found.
A skim of the local paper seems to support the Jobster observation-- fewer and fewer jobs are being listed, you have to search harder to find them. Some government agencies are in a hiring freeze for 2008 due to budget cuts.
I've heard of forecasters in huge cities using the number of people they see riding with them on trains to work as an indicator of employment growth. I guess this is similar.