Zaxo, re. city vs. rural, I think some cities may have a concentration of a specific type of company, and that can make the job market look a little different than it actually is.
For example, the city near me seems to be loaded with finance companies. The jobs listed tend to be pretty homogeneous (5+ years xp (usually Java or MS, but sometimes Perl), finance experience, trading floor xp a plus, long hours but high pay), so if you don't qualify for one, you generally don't qualify for most of them. The ads often have the mysterious phrase "hedge fund" in them, but I don't see what finance has to do with landscaping... ;)
Anyhow, if you factor out those finance-related jobs, I wonder if the market here isn't much different from a more rural job market.