Americans start to see light in economy

Vice President Joe Biden pushes a full shopping cart during a visit to a Costco store in Washington, DC, on November 29, 2012. Consumer confidence at a five-year high according to new data this week. But what exactly makes us so confident?

Consumer confidence is at a five-year high, according to new data this week. But what exactly is making us so confident? One factor may be the job market and how Americans are feeling about career prospects.

In a recent survey, the polling firm Gallup found that 24 percent of Americans feel that now is a good time to find a quality job. While that is low on an absolute basis, Gallup editor-in-chief Frank Newport says it's the highest positive response since March, 2008.

"We are climbing back up out of the depths," says Newport, who notes that the percent of American's who feel the county is on the right track is also increasing, now at 31 percent. Just last year, as few as 10 percent of Americans were satisfied with the country's direction.

But Newport says we are still a long way from the generally positive attitude held in the late 1990s, when roughly 70 percent of Americans were satifisfied with the country's path.

 

About the author

Frank Newport, Ph.D., is the editor-in-chief at Gallup and appears regularly on Marketplace.

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