Because of the fact that the JFP doesn't come out in two discrete bunches anymore, it's hard to make a direct, precise comparison between this year's October JFP situation and those from years past. But as of right now, I have between five and ten jobs on my list than I had at this time last year. So, for me, at least, things seem a little better. Not that this means anything.
According to PhilJobs, the JFP had 203 listings, of which 167 are tenured or tenure-track, and 36 are not. (PhilJobs itself claims 351, of which 247 are tenured or tenure-track, and 104 are not.) Whereas last year's JFP day had 194 ads plus another 48 web-onlies (some of which were no-doubt duplicates from the print edition, and who-knows-how-many were non-tenure-track). So, without pretending to be very precise, my sense is that, all things considered, this year is about the same as last year, or maybe a little worse.
I don't know. According to last year's October JFP post, which is where I got the information concerning last year's JFP from just now, there were 140 ads in the print edition from October of '09, 267 in '08--just after the econopocalypse but before the devastation had fully manifested itself--and 347 ads in October of '07, the most recent year with a decent economy going in. I did not double-check any of these numbers. Corrections and additional context are welcome.
Leiter has been optimistic the past couple of years, suggesting that rebounds in other disciplines are signs of a rebound in ours. Last year was political science; this year it was sociology. I'll believe it when I see it.