Poll takers at Gallup said the index had risen to 20 in April from 18 in March. The peak for the index was set at 26 in January 2008, the month Gallup began tracking the data.
For a most of 2009, the Job Creation Index was in negative territory. It dipped below zero briefly in 2010 and has been mostly rising since then.
A reading of 20 is based on 36 percent of workers indicating their employers are hiring, Gallup said.
Sixteen percent of workers in the national poll indicated their employers were letting workers go. That is the lowest percentage of workers indicating a decline in payrolls since July 2008, Gallup said.
The index came in at 23 in the South, 21 in the Midwest, 18 in the West and 16 in the East, Gallup said.
"Private-sector job creation is improving even as federal government jobs are disappearing, and state and local government hiring remains weak. As has been seen in Europe, when government is forced to cut back, there are job implications in the short term," Gallup said.
The poll's figures are gleaned from random sampling of 15,884 surveys taken in April. The results have a margin of error of plus and minus 1 percentage point, researchers can say with 95 percent confidence, Gallup said.