Firms don't want to hire because they are pessimistic about sales. Consumers don't want to buy because they are pessimistic about their incomes.
There is only one way to break this downward spiral, and that is for the government to directly hire the unemployed as they did in the Great Depression when we built many public works that we enjoy today such as parks, auditoriums, and Hoover Dam. At my own university (MSU) we enjoy WPA built buildings. We certainly have many national needs such as some high speed rail lines and improvements in our national electric grid.
I am aware that fear of government deficits blocks the necessary massive spending. This is stupid. It would not be the first time that slogans and propaganda kept us from acting in our self interest.
I have described in previous blogs how to increase government spending without increasing the debt.