Allow me to weigh in again.
Is it difficult to find a job? There is no "Yes" or "No" answer to this question. Too many variables exist. From experiences I've had or witnessed, the job market is very competitive right now--including coders. However, it is absolutely a thriving area of medicine.
To add to that uphill battle of gaining employment, you have schools and recruiters trying to make money off of the viability within our field. Some of those schools/recruiters (program recruiters) inflate statistics or use them out of context in order to make profit off the successes that can be gained in coding/compliance/HIM/billing. These are the same ilk of unscrupulous individuals who market the "create your own home billing company" schemes.
One particular national chain of colleges (that promote coding) uses the AAPC and AHIMA salary surveys to lure students into their program--never bothering to site that the survey data relies on Certified Professional Coders (and other credentialed individuals). When those students are informed that after a year of study they are neither prepared to take a certification, nor make the salary recruiters sited, they become very disillusioned and some choose careers outside our area. That is unfortunate.
One thing I always reiterate to students: Recruiters are not (or rarely) coders themselves. It is best to take your advice, mentoring and direction from a veteran HIM professional, not someone in the mass media, someone promoting his/her own business(es), nor anyone with designs on your pocketbook and financial aid. That being said, I hope the folks here did not choose their career direction solely on the hopes that checks would just appear in the mail for them.
Coding and its associated disciplines are duties I've grown to love. Without that valid interest, it is unlikely I'd have survived beyond my first job in the field. However, it was the thought of increased, stable salary that encouraged me to pursue my education and training in coding. The love of what I do is what has sustained me.
Good luck to all!
Kevin B. Shields, RHIT, CPCO, CCS, CPC, COC, CCS-P, CPC-P, CPC-I