I think it is really dependent on how well your state is handling the recession, and California from what understand has been one of the worst hit. I'm in Texas, and I think we are doing relatively well. The only major county I heard of with a sustained hiring freeze was Harris (Houston), and that got lifted last year. There are reports from our comptroller that things should be back to pre-recession levels by 2014. Now I'm not sure if that includes private legal sector hiring, but I assume it will be good news for government hiring (hopefully).
I think if one doesn't get their dream office, there will be better chances at getting into a rural office. Now of course that wouldn't be ideal for a lot of us, but from what I understand you will get more responsibility and higher level cases earlier than you would at a major city office. The big offices here will make you work misdemeanors for a couple years before felonies, and smaller offices will give you the chance to get to felonies faster. And after a couple years and once the economy improves, you could always lateral offices. At least that is my optimistic outlook. Take it as you please
Meanwhile, in my state, we hear (true) tales of people who graduated law school in 2007/08 who have been volunteering at the prosecutor's office ever since
, desperately hoping that someone will retire so they can snatch up ANY paying opportunity, at any office. I guess if I could stomach the weather, isolation, and politics of Texas I might have a brighter future, but sadly I cannot.