Approval ratings for both U.S. President Barack Obama and Congress have reached their highest levels in more than a year this month, according to a Harris Interactive poll released Monday.

Obama's approval rating rose to 44% in January from 36% in December, while Congress's grew to 16% from 11% last month, according to a Web survey of more than 2,500 U.S. adults. Additionally, 37% of those polled said the country is moving "in the right direction," up from 29% in December.

"Americans seem to be more positive and the question now becomes how the State of the Union address changes things," according to Harris Interactive. "President Obama is now at his highest approval ratings since October 2009 and even Congress is at their 'highest' point since April of last year."

The survey suggests that Americans have been taking a more favorable view of the U.S. government since Republicans took the majority of the House of Representatives and after unemployment levels have dropped slightly.

But the country remains split down party lines. Almost 80% of Democrats say Obama is doing a good job, compared with 8% of Republicans. Meanwhile, Democrats with a positive view of Congress outnumber Republicans by about a three-to-one margin, according to the Harris poll, which was conducted between Jan. 17 and Jan. 24.

Earlier this month, the U.S. Labor Department reported that the country added 103,000 jobs in December, dropping the unemployment rate from 9.6% to 9.4%, its lowest level in 19 months.


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