Elizabeth Warren, U.S. Senate hopeful, toured downtown New Bedford, Mass. Monday afternoon. She went with one very specific question in mind, “How’s business been?”

Between visiting businesses, she stopped to say matter-of-factly, “Small business owners need more customers. That happens when people have jobs.”

Whether we were in the midst of an election year or not, there would still be plenty of talk in the media regarding job growth. Fact: America’s workforce is still disconcerted from the recession. For the home of the brave, it’s comforting to hear that Labor’s January jobs report shows 243,000 jobs were created.

Top companies such as Starbucks, Amazon, Boeing, Citibank and Time Warner Cable (to name a few) have announced anywhere from 500-13,000 open positions with an ample variety of job titles. Whether you’re an engineering candidate or a healthcare professional, recovery is sprouting. If you’re a small business, job gains are reflecting hope.

Dun and Bradstreet Credibility Corp.’s CEO, Jeff Stibel, spoke with Alisa Parenti of MarketWatch this week about this slow, yet steady progress that we’re seeing in businesses’ confidence:

More jobs is obviously great for our economy…    Is your business planning on hiring in 2012?    Do you see this trend continuing through 2012?