The public’s confidence in continued job growth and the availability of hiring employers is at the highest since Pew Research Center began looking at the issue 16 years ago.

The confidence in jobs availability is a huge turnaround from 10 years ago when the nation was in a recession. At that point, 85 percent said jobs are difficult to find.

Today, however, Pew found that 50 percent say “plenty of jobs are available,” up from just 10 percent in 2009.

“The public’s views of local job availability continue to improve. Currently, 50 percent of Americans say there are plenty of jobs available in their communities – the highest number saying that jobs are plentiful in Pew Research Center surveys dating to 2001,” said Pew.

The pollster added, “Since June 2016, the share saying plenty of jobs are available has increased seven percentage points, from 43 percent to 50 percent, with virtually all of the change coming among Republicans. Yet in both parties, perceptions of the local job situation are much more positive today than they were three or four years ago.”

Jobless claims have hit a 16-year low and some economists claim that the U.S. economy is at near full employment.

However, the new survey added that Americans still don’t feel that their wages are keeping up with the cost of living.

Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at pbedard@washingtonexaminer.com