Despite the fact that the economy seems to be picking up, employers are in no rush to hire. Many companies are enjoying their increased profits during the current jobless recovery. Increasing productivity through overtime, automation and outsourcing is often more profitable than expanding their workforces. This provides little comfort to those who are searching for jobs, although the fact that first-time unemployment claims unexpectedly dropped last week to their lowest level since early 2001 is an encouraging sign.
See David Streitfeld, Los Angeles Times, November 12, 2003