Despite generally good economic conditions, many among the U.S. labor force remain apprehensive, with about half of American adults (49%) saying job finding is difficult in their community and 55% saying so when the qualifier “good job” is added to the question; still, the trend in views about the job market is notably more optimistic than the continuing pessimism expressed about the overall state of the economy. Pew polls taken over the last two years show the number of Americans saying jobs are hard to find registering as high as 60% in May 2005 and remaining at 56% through much of 2006. In December 2006, however, that number fell to 49%, where it remains in the most recent poll. Among Republicans, only 35% say that a job is hard to find while about the same percentage (38%) say that about a “good job”; among Democrats, however, more than six in 10 rate job finding difficult, with no significant distinction being made between finding any job or a good one. Read More

Russell Heimlich  is a former web developer at Pew Research Center.