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Job Searchers’ Optimism Hits Record High

A new Gallup survey finds that the optimism among Americans seeking jobs is now at its highest level in more than 15 years.

According to the survey, 50 percent say a high-quality job can be found now, a hike of seven percentage points since December.

In January of 2007, 48 percent were optimistic about finding a good job, and that percentage dropped for three years afterward. In January of 2010, only nine percent were optimistic about the prospects of getting a quality job.

“The annual average grew each year from 10% in 2009 to 42% in 2015 and remained at that level in 2016,” Gallup says, adding:

While 55% of Democrats say now is a good time to find a quality job, 44% of Republicans say the same — an 11-point gap. This gap is much smaller than it was during the presidential campaign last year, which had a major impact on views about the availability of good jobs.

At the start of 2016, there was a 19-point gap in Democrats’ vs. Republicans’ perceptions that it was a good time to get a quality job (54% vs. 35%, respectively). This swelled to 38 points by October, when 62% of Democrats said it was a good time, compared with 24% of Republicans. Now, with the campaign over, the gap has shrunk.

Americans more likely to be optimistic about job searches now are those with postgraduate education (62 percent), those with annual income of at least $75,000 (57 percent), and those currently employed (56 percent).

However, other groups with higher than average levels of unemployment and high levels of optimism include: 57 percent of nonwhites; 54 percent of those under 35 years of age; and 54 percent of men.

The poll was conducted Jan. 4-8 using telephone interviews with a random sample of 1,032 adults living in the United States. The margin of error is ±4 percentage points at the 95% confidence level.

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