We're going through some rough times as these lines are written. A younger technical writer friend of mine asked me what he should do to find a job. And this is the summary of what I recommended him to do. I hope it will help you in your job search as well.
When looking for a hi-tech full-time job as a technical writer, it matters where you live since good jobs are concentrated in hi-tech sectors like defense, biomedical and pharmaceuticals. And the headquarters of such companies – if not their manufacturing facilities – are usually located in major urban areas. Since technical communicators typically work at the headquarters of such companies, they do not have a higher probability of locating such jobs if they live at or close to major metropolitan areas and hi-tech urban corridors.
With defense contractors, you can try writing their "QCP – Quality Control Plan," a document that they need to present to the Pentagon before they can get the contract.
If you have a medical or pharmaceutical background, I'd definitely recommend "Regulatory Writing."
If you are an STC (Society for Technical Communication) member, you can take advantage of STC's job bank which posts technical writing jobs 14 days in advance for its members.
On the low-tech end, this is a great time to write resumes and cover letters for other people since there are so many people looking for work right now. I suggest you organize a free 1-hour "How to Write Your Resume?" workshop at your local church, synagogue, library, coffee shop or community organization. Who will attend the event? People looking for a job. Then at the end of the seminar you offer your services at a "discount."
You can also try writing Policy and Procedure manuals for your local organization, Human Resources department, military base, hospital, manufacturing plant, charity or non-profit. They always need someone to gather the rules, policies and procedures in a book so they know how to run the organization, and what to do when something goes wrong.
You can try launching an old-fashioned postcard campaign to let your local businesses know that you are there and ready for their business.
Do not give up and circulate your good name around until something comes up. There are usually a lot more technical and business writing assignments out there than meets the eye. But sometimes it takes a while to find them.
Do not forget: everything will come to pass, including a recession. Nothing in life remains the same. You do the right thing every day and accumulate your advantages while counting your blessings.