Thirty percent of Americans believe now is "a good time to find a quality job," matching the average since August, according to a new Gallup poll
That's a vast improvement from 8 percent in November 2011, but it's also a far cry from 48 percent in January 2007 before the financial crisis began. That level was the highest since the survey began in 2001.
"Although the unemployment rate and quality job measure are not perfectly correlated, the data suggest perceptions of the job market may improve further once the unemployment rate dips into the mid-5 percent range, and may surpass 40 percent believing it is a good time to find a quality job when the unemployment rate drops below 5 percent," writes Gallup's Jeffrey Jones.
The unemployment rate dropped to a six-year low of 5.8 percent in October.
Many economists have waxed enthusiastic over the labor market, as nonfarm payrolls have risen more than 200,000 for nine straight months, the longest streak since 1995.
But trouble may lurk beneath the surface.
The number of Americans tied to part-time jobs that they don't want totals almost 7 million, The Wall Street Journal reports.
Meanwhile, the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) says 6.3 million "missing workers" aren't being counted as unemployed.
"These are people who would either be working or looking for work, and thus counted in official labor market stats, if job opportunities were stronger," Valerie Wilson, director of the EPI's program on race, ethnicity and the economy, told CNBC.com.
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