story by ABC News begins "The U.S. labor force has been split into two groups: the relieved and the desperate."
It continues to illustrate that today there is good news and there is bad news. The good news is that there is a lot fewer layoffs than in recent times. Retailers only cut around 5,000 jobs last month. Not bad, when compared to the devastating 50,000 lost that same month two years ago. But still the economy hasn't shown any concrete, significant signs that it is stable in the long-term, and that, well, is the bad news.
Because employers are playing a game of 'wait and see' the confidence needed to engage wide hiring trends hasn't yet materialized. Those who have been unemployed are therefore in their own holding pattern, finding it more and more difficult to find unemployment after months of searching.
The story cites, "A government survey of business payrolls released Friday showed a net gain of only 36,000 jobs in January — barely one-fourth the number needed just to keep pace with population growth."
What's more is that the recession showed employers that they can do more (or just as much) with less, as production numbers have risen during the recession in spite of a lack of hiring.
When will the trend toward hiring really take off? We'll just have to wait and see.