The New Year might see more layoffs and less employers hiring, which sure equates to more people out of job and permanent positions would be hard to come by for sometime at least. The alternatives to a permanent full time job include part-time work, contract jobs and all, but there are other options too which you could explore and see what suits best to you.
New work arrangements might be the call of the times for many in the US and around the world as the world braces for some tough times as a result of recession and widespread job losses.
Some of the ‘non full-time jobs’ options that you could consider are:

Employment as apprentices or trainees
If you have been in a layoff and for some reason do not intend to go back to the industry you have worked with, and can sustain financially for some time at least; then considering a career change could be one fabulous (forced) opportunity for you now. And since it is difficult to (successfully) change careers without having the right skill set, seeking employment or voluntary work as apprentice or trainee could be an option now. Seek training in the area of specialization where the jobs would be in future. The US department of Labor Employment and Training Administration (ETA) has some good information on its website . (For the readers not in the US, check out your government website for related information, there are also many career centers in various cities which can provide in information on vocational training institutes etc.).

Freelance – Use your skills and talents and work on your own from where you want. Many website provide the tools and advertising you need to be visible to those who might need your skills, but you must first know how to market yourself and if at all it would be worth spending the time freelancing either in the short-term or long-run. You must build a reputation and credibility before you see yourself ‘thriving’ as a freelancer. There are better retargets out there to research on freelancing if you are attracted to the idea, some of these are:

Small business opportunities
Start your own business – it is not the time to sit and think that nothing would work out if you started your business now in a bad economy. The world is always on the move and people need solutions to their problems. So if you present an answer to someone’s need be it as a product or a service, you might fare better as an entrepreneur than in any permanent job. Often we do what we have been doing or what are skills or education were, only when a major change happens for example a layoff and finding another job in the same field is extremely difficult it is time to reinvent your career and being your own boss (if you have the aptitude of course) cold be one of the most lucrative careers and opportunity of a lifetime.

Franchise options
It might be a good time to get into franchise business; there are reports of quite a few of the systems are cutting down on the fees to attract more franchisees in the economic downturn. Research well and assess your financial situation well before getting into the franchise market. Although most of those selling you on franchise options will try their best to convince that it is easy to get loans and start the business right away; it is always wiser to research on your own and calculate running costs and your capability to commitment to a business in the long-run.
However, be aware that running a franchise means a lot of work, do not expect the profits to come by any easier just because you bought a franchise of an already established business. Also there is a of of legal work involved so things could be slow to start-up initially. It is best to consult someone already in the business to get some first-hand analysis.