Spring is a time of renewal and growth, and even the economy seems to be in getting into the spirit. Hiring is up, by some accounts as much as 70% over spring of 2009. Here in Northeast Florida, we are tracking over 22,000 new job postings for March. This represents a 24% increase in hiring over last month (17,874 jobs ads in February 2010 to 22,228 jobs ads in March 2010.) We also have over 90 employers signed up for our Virtual Job Fair starting at midnight April 12. That’s a good reason to be optimistic that we will break out of the economic doldrums we’ve been in since mid-2008. The Jacksonville Business Journal reports that Freight traffic was at its most robust in the week ending March 27 since November 2008, according to the Association of American Railroads. U.S. railroads hauled 16.5 percent more goods and materials in that week than the comparable period a year ago. That’s good news in part because CSX, a major railroad, is headquartered here in Jacksonville, and what’s good for CSX is good for all of us. Read more: Jacksonville Business Journal: Carloads and containers of good signs. The stock market has risen 6% in 2010, and Dow 11,000 looks like a strong possibility for this year. That’s good news for baby boomers whose investments and retirement plans have taken tremendous hits during the current recession. Interest rates and inflation remain low, which is helping the housing market rebound as well. The Good News Index, which I just made up, is based on the number of positive economic reports and indicators that are appearing in local journals and trusted data sources. March and April are showing real signs of upward trends in business activity, hiring and earnings for some companies. That makes the forecast partly cloudy with a 60% chance of real economic recovery this year. Try to look for good news when you can. A new study suggests that media viewers worldwide turn to particular broadcasters to affirm — rather than inform — their opinions. The study mostly applied to political opinions, but I believe in viewer bias. If you expect bad news, it’s easy to find. If you expect good news, you can find it too – these days, you just have to work a little harder. Maybe, just maybe, the reverse is also true: that if you watch enough good news, you’ll start to feel better and expect even more good news. Anything that makes you feel better (and is not immoral, illegal or fattening) is good for your job search. Sitting in your pajamas listening to bad news: a.) does not help you find a job and b.) does not help you project a confident image in the interviews you get. You can do the math – I’m 99% sure.