Americans more confident of finding a job

In The Sound of Music Maria sings, "I Have Confidence" as she begins her new job as a nanny to the Captain's children. Perhaps it is that kind of enthusiasm that is again lifting the spirit of Americans looking for work.

For 41 years, the General Social Survey has looked at the level of confidence Americans have in the U.S. job market. The latest survey finds confidence about job security and the ability to find a new job if necessary{}rebounded in 2012.

The fear of being laid off dropped last year from its 2010 peak back to roughly the average the poll has reflected for the 35 years this question has been asked. The percentage of Americans who said it would be very easy or somewhat easy to find a job if they lost theirs rose to 54 percent from 46 percent in 2010. The 2010 figure was the lowest the country had seen since 1983, when America was coming out of a depression.

In 2012, only eleven percent of those polled said it was likely or somewhat likely they would lose their job. That number is down from 16 percent in 2010.

Confidence in the economy varied by education, but, confidence was up for those with a college degree and for those with a high school education.

One troubling statistic:{} More Americans define themselves as in the "lower class" than at any time since 1972.{} A record eight percent consider themselves as lower class. In 1985, that number was just four percent.{} Twenty-two percent of those polled expect their children to do as well or better than they have done. That is typical for this survey.