Five years ago, I was out of work for six months, barely had any interviews for the first four months, but eventually had two offers at once. Non-Perl programmers I know were out of work for a year or more around that time.
A year and a half ago, after I was laid off from the job I took at the end of the aforementioned search, it only took two months to land a job -- at a significantly higher salary. I was interviewing nearly every day, and had at least three more companies that were about to make offers when I accepted my current job.
The market waxes and wanes, both month to month and year to year. I still get pinged by recruiters from time to time, so I'd say it's still pretty strong, at least in my area.