STEVE INSKEEP, Host:
NPR's Brett Neely has this report on where the new jobs are coming from.
BRETT NEELY: The jobs are out there. But sometimes, as Jessica Cooper found out, it takes six months and lowered expectations to find them. She's an experienced bookkeeper in the construction industry - no jobs there for awhile. Throughout her job search, she kept seeing lots of jobs in the health care industry - which kept adding positions through the recession.
M: And I felt like every time I was doing a job search, it was for nurses and physician assistants and things like that, and I don't have any training in that sort of a thing.
NEELY: So Cooper wound up with a part-time job selling clothes at The Gap. It pays $12 less an hour than her old job.
M: It was kind of disappointing, but at the same time, I mean, I knew that was the way it was going to be. I just needed a job.
(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)
M: So I went for it.
NEELY: Macy's spokesman Jim Sluzewski says the chain will add 3,500 positions over the next two years to beef up its online operations. Many of the jobs will be relatively low-paying jobs packing boxes for shipment. But Sluzewski says the company is hiring plenty of other workers, too.
M: Merchants - which are buyers and planners - to programmers, to software engineers.
NEELY: While many large companies are once again profitable, labor economist Gary Burtless at the Brookings Institution says they're cautious about spending the big cushions of cash they've built up.
M: Businesses have to be confident that the demand for the good or product that they sell is going to be reliably bigger in the future than it is right now.
NEELY: That rings true for Bill Cave in Fort Mill, South Carolina. He's been unemployed for two years and finally starts a new job on Monday.
M: The job is a temporary position. It's for a staffing company, doing research on the clients that they have.
NEELY: Most of those jobs are thanks to orders from overseas, says Boeing spokesman Tim Neale.
M: Particularly in Asia and the Middle East, but also in places like Africa and Latin America, where passenger traffic is on the rise.
NEELY: Brett Neely, NPR News, Washington.