It seems to me that jobs may be on the rise this year, simply because I get about a daily inquiry from someone in my life about whether or not they should apply for X position or follow up on Y job lead. My answer is always the same.
If there is even the slightest chance that the job in question puts you in a better situation than the one you are in, YES. YES. BY ALL MEANS YES.
Now obviously there is a cost to applying for jobs. It takes time and interviews take even more. But if you are on the job market, or considering it, there is a reason (advancement, change of scenery, family, colleagues, creepy colleagues, etc.). In that case, you owe it to yourself to explore the options. Time after time people say something along the lines of "I would go there if xxxx, but I don't think that is possible" before they have even applied. This drives me crazy because people take themselves out of the running before the race even starts.
Rule #1: Make the hard decisions when they need to be made. You don't know what is possible at a job until you negotiate so don't decide whether or not you would be interested before you've even applied.
Rule #2: When opportunities present themselves, check them out. I have watched several friends of mine stumble into jobs that they had not previously considered, which turned out to perfectly fit their lives. By simply returning a phone call or agreeing to a meeting, they struck gold because they didn't make an a priori decision that something wasn't right for them.
Rule #3: Let the search committee decide if you meet the criteria. Don't exclude yourself based on what YOU think THEY might be looking for.
It always amazes me how many people talk themselves out of a job they haven't even applied for! If you need a job or want a better one, do the legwork and kick some tires. No one ever got a job by not applying.