There are a number of reasons for this:
1. Lack of suitable openings because most companies are not growing and headcount is not increasing
2. Companies are being extremely cautious with their selection process; thus taking much longer and adding additional steps to the process
3. Jobs have been eliminated and potentially replaced with technology or outsourcing
Until the overall economy improves, candidates can expect the process to continue at a slow pace. Knowing all this in advance is half the battle.
For those looking to switch or find a new job, networking is still the best way to land a new job. Utilize a tool like LinkedIn to connect with friends, former college mates, and current and former work associates. Your network remains your most power tool in helping to you find your next job.