Recent chaos in the financial markets has seen business confidence around the globe plummet, including Australia. Furthermore, many news services are reporting that jobs growth is slowing - see the following article: http://business.smh.com.au/business/jobs-growth-slows-20081009-4x4p.html
If you are currently looking for a job, it may be worth re-thinking your approach. There may be an impact on jobs growth but there is still a skills shortage that will get progressively worse over the next decade. There is still work to be done, but right now, employers may actually prefer to take someone on part time while they ride out the economic downturn. This is where you can come into play by offering your skills and expertise on a part time basis until business picks up. You are offering your flexibility in return for their flexibility.