Will there be more signs like this? An automotive service shop in El Cerrito, Calif., was looking for workers last month. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Consumer spending rose in 2012, but not by as much as the year before. In December, these shoppers were out and about in Glendale, Calif. Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images

The scene at a career fair in New York City last fall. Mike Segar /Reuters /Landov hide caption

itoggle caption Mike Segar /Reuters /Landov