The poor economy has had an interesting (and unfortunate for people in my position) side effect for the business of matching employers and people. The staffing agencies themselves have become so desperate to fill so few jobs that they've gone to the point of spamming prospects with irrelevant "leads." It's literally the same approach that spammers take, feeling that e-mail is cheap, and send out enough and something will stick.
Some of it goes as far as to insult you. Next to the unsubscribe message, one that I got today said, "You opted to receive this e-mail because you posted your resume on a job board." Seriously? So I could be spammed by someone plugging a job in Portland that I'm not qualified for?
Even worse, when someone posts a job on Monster, all of the recruiters call you that morning pitching the same thing, which by then if it was a fit I already applied for. I keep wondering what value these staffing firms add for anyone. In the Internet age they strike me as unnecessary.
The big difference in looking for a job now compared to a year ago is that you the candidate have to do things the old fashioned way, by looking for positions yourself and firing up the network. The network of course says, "Ain't got nothin' fo' ya man."
It's a bad scene out there, especially in the Cleveland/Akron market. The recruiters I trust say they see a slight up tick in other markets they work in, but not here. I'm perfectly willing to move, but not for contract work, and not without some measure of relocation assistance. We just got married and have two mortgages, so moves initiated by us... not likely for about the next year.
It's a good time to reinvest in yourself, volunteer and write something on your own.