WASHINGTON, Sept. 18 (Xinhua) -- The number of Americans who are optimistic about finding a quality job has hit a five-year high, but finding a good job is still tough for lower income earners, found a Gallup poll released Wednesday.
Twenty-seven percent of Americans nationwide say now is a good time to find a quality job, up significantly from 21 percent in August. The figure is by one point the highest since January 2008, according to the Sept. 5-8 poll.
More broadly, Americans' perceptions of the U.S. job market have tended to be more positive each month this year than during most months last year, and compared with 2009 through 2011, when the percentage saying it is a good time was consistently below 20 percent, Gallup found.
Upper-income Americans' optimism about the availability of good jobs surged 9 percentage points to 33 percent in September. Middle- income Americans' optimism is also at one of the highest levels of the year.
At the same time, lower-income Americans' optimism has faded, with 19 percent saying now is a good time to find a quality job -- unchanged from August but down from 26 percent in July, and 30 percent in June, Gallup found.
As a result, there is now a relatively wide gap separating lower-income Americans' views about jobs from the views of those in higher-income brackets, markedly different from earlier this year when the three groups' views were closer, Gallup found.
Young adults aged 18 to 29 and Democrats, as well as Hispanics and blacks -- both of which are predominantly Democratic groups -- are the most optimistic about finding quality work.
Democrats' relative optimism fits within a larger pattern whereby members of the president's party are the most upbeat about the U.S. economy. Even so, majorities of all political, racial, and ethnic groups are more negative than positive on this question, Gallup found.
While still negative overall, Americans' perceptions of the nation's job market have generally been better this year than at any time since early 2008. While that is potentially good news, it is driven exclusively by improved perceptions among middle- and upper-income Americans, Gallup found.
Lower-income Americans' views on the issue have been at a yearly low since August, no doubt reflecting their challenges and frustrations at the bottom of the skills ladder, Gallup found.