With the recent weak job report of only 88,000 jobs added last month, traffic to the top 10 job-hunting websites is up 28 percent from a year ago, according to data from Experian Hitwise.
Bill Tancer, Experian's managing director of global research, calls that a sign that workers who still fear layoffs are hedging bets.
Gallup surveys show workers' perceptions of the job market are no better than a year ago, despite some economists' forecasts that economic growth hit a 3% annual clip in the first quarter. That's better than most expected three months ago.
"You get a distorted picture from the unemployment numbers,'' said Dennis Jacobe, chief economist at Gallup, whose research uses economics and public opinion to predict behavior.
"From an individual perspective, there's no change in how the situation is.''
According to Goldman Sachs economist Sven Stehn, layoffs are so low that, statistically, an economy with so few firings should have generated 263,000 jobs a month in recent months. But the rate of hiring points to only 107,000 new jobs, and surveys of employers' hiring plans by temporary-help firm Manpower point to only 59,000 jobs a month.