The Consumer Confidence Index calculated by the Conference Board rose to 73.7 in November, up slightly from 73.1 in October, the highest level since February 2008. This is a result of solid hiring and 20.3 percent of people surveyed said they expect more jobs in the next six months.

“Over the past few months, consumers have grown increasingly more upbeat about the current and expected state of the job market, and this turnaround in sentiment is helping to boost confidence,” said Lynn Franco, director of economic indicators at The Conference Board.

Still, a majority expect job growth and pay growth to remain sluggish and the threat of higher taxes looms over many in the middle class. “As yet, households are largely unaware of exactly what the ‘fiscal cliff’ means to their bottom line, or simply believe Congress will figure it out and do something before it takes effect,” said Ellen Zentner, senior U.S. economist with Nomura. “As widespread media coverage concentrates more on the fiscal cliff, so will U.S. households.”