Here in the Midwest, and Michigan in particular, the job hunting outlook is somewhere worse than bad. The talking heads continue to disagree about the economy, some say we've hit bottom and are starting to rebound. Others talk about that bounce off the bottom that we haven't seen yet, like that's real scientific. And of course there's the school of thought that we don't suck as bad as we did a few months ago, so that's a good thing. But even if the economy starts to grow again and the stock market starts to increase (although the market today is basically at the same level as it was last November after the crash), jobs remains an independent issue. And until we are once again gaining more jobs that we are losing, confidence will remain low and spending will lag.
This new Gallup poll illustrates job gains versus job losses by different regions in the U.S. It claims that here in the Midwest, the worse of the job losses is behind us, and that job gains are actually picking up. Enough so that they offset each other, so the net job numbers breaks even. The South appears to be in the best shape, and has been throughout this recession even with the deteriorated housing and construction market there. The East is showing signs of improvement, but don't even think about the West.