Meanwhile, federal hiring remains strong, while state and local governments continue lay off their employees, according to the poll.
More than 40 percent of federal employees say their organizations are adding people compared with 21 percent who say they are firing workers.
State and local government employees report a net loss of workers, a consistent pattern this year.
Unemployed workers would have better luck looking for work at larger companies in the private sector and the federal government in the public sector, the poll concluded.
Another part of the job creation problem involves the nation's smallest businesses.
About 9 percent of workers in businesses with fewer than 10 employees said their employer was hiring, while 16 percent said their employer was letting people go.
"Getting jobs growing in this area is essential to the achievement of a real jobs recovery," the report said. "In turn, this suggests that encouraging entrepreneurship should be a top U.S. priority going forward."