A new survey from job placement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas offers good news and bad news for U.S. job seekers. While some Americans have become more optimistic about their employment prospects, others have grown even more frustrated at their inability to find work.

The results were based on a random sample of 600 callers to Challenger’s yearly job-search advice hotline. Here are some key findings:

- Over the two-day event, the firm’s professional counselors helped more than 1,000 job seekers, 77 percent of whom were unemployed. That is down only slightly from the previous two years, when 81 percent of callers were out of work.

- Callers were more optimistic than a year ago: nearly 30 percent estimated they would find a new job within three months, up from 18 percent in 2010.

- Even as the percentage of optimistic callers surged from a year ago, so did the percent of those predicting it would take more than a year to find employment. Ten percent of the job seekers felt the job search would last more than 12 months, compared to four percent who anticipated a prolonged job search last year.