There is a surprising amount of new hiring going on. That may seem strange, given the job losses in the economy, but the widely-quoted figures show net job growth. An unemployed person does not need a net new job, he or she just needs a job. Here's an illustration. (Inspired by a chart in Forbes Magazine.)
The blue section of the chart shows hires, counting all hires for any reason: new position or replacement of existing worker. The red shows all layoffs, firings, quits, and deaths of working persons. The net change is shown in black, and that's the headline figure.
Even though unemployment is high, there is hiring going on every day, all across America. More good news for job seekers: a lot of the unemployed are so discouraged they are not making a particularly strong job search effort. That gives a leg up to the unemployed who pound the pavement and make the calls. As I said in a recent newspaper interview, the first wave of employment growth will go to those people who do the best job of pretending not to be discouraged.