WASHINGTON — Americans' confidence in the economy surged last month to the highest level in nearly five years, as many were encouraged by an improving job market.

The Conference Board says its consumer confidence index increased in October to 72.2. That's up from 70.3 in September and the highest reading since February 2008, two months into the Great Recession.

Consumers were more confident after seeing better job growth, the report noted. Hiring in July and August was stronger than first thought, and employers added a modest 114,000 jobs in September, the government reported last month.

The survey is watched closely because consumer spending drives nearly 70 percent of economic activity. The reading is still below 90, a level that indicates a healthy economy. It last reached that level in December 2007.

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  • America's E-Commerce Capitals

    See the full-resolution infographic by Valerie Willis at <a href="http://bit.ly/qctQaT" target="_hplink">bundle.com</a>.

  • 10. Orlando, FL

    <strong>Money spent shopping online compared to national average:</strong> 1.9X more <strong>Number of online transactions compared to national average:</strong> 1.92X more <strong>Percentage of residents who access the Internet:</strong> 55 percent <strong>Sales tax rate:</strong> 6 percent <strong>Number of major e-retailer distribution centers:</strong> 19 Read more at <a href="http://www.bundle.com" target="_hplink">bundle.com</a>.

  • 9. Minneapolis, MN

    <strong>Money spent shopping online compared to national average:</strong> 1.92X more <strong>Number of online transactions compared to national average:</strong> 2.2X more <strong>Percentage of residents who access the Internet:</strong> 51 percent <strong>Sales tax rate:</strong> 6.88 percent <strong>Number of major e-retailer distribution centers:</strong> 5 Read more at <a href="http://www.bundle.com" target="_hplink">bundle.com</a>.

  • 8. St. Paul, MN

    <strong>Money spent shopping online compared to national average:</strong> 2X more <strong>Number of online transactions compared to national average:</strong> 2.16X more <strong>Percentage of residents who access the Internet:</strong> 51 percent <strong>Sales tax rate:</strong> 6.88 percent <strong>Number of major e-retailer distribution centers:</strong> 5 Read more at <a href="http://www.bundle.com" target="_hplink">bundle.com</a>.

  • 7. Washington D.C.

    <strong>Money spent shopping online compared to national average:</strong> 2.14X more <strong>Number of online transactions compared to national average:</strong> 2.3X more <strong>Percentage of residents who access the Internet:</strong> 58 percent <strong>Sales tax rate:</strong> 6 percent <strong>Number of major e-retailer distribution centers:</strong> 0 Read more at <a href="http://www.bundle.com" target="_hplink">bundle.com</a>.

  • 6. Austin, TX

    <strong>Money spent shopping online compared to national average:</strong> 2.15X more <strong>Number of online transactions compared to national average:</strong> 2.2X more <strong>Percentage of residents who access the Internet:</strong> 58 percent <strong>Sales tax rate:</strong> 6.25 percent <strong>Number of major e-retailer distribution centers:</strong> 27 Read more at <a href="http://www.bundle.com" target="_hplink">bundle.com</a>.

  • 5. Pittsburgh, PA

    <strong>Money spent shopping online compared to national average:</strong> 2.4X more <strong>Number of online transactions compared to national average:</strong> 2.4X more <strong>Percentage of residents who access the Internet:</strong> 44 percent <strong>Sales tax rate:</strong> 6 percent <strong>Number of major e-retailer distribution centers:</strong> 19 Read more at <a href="http://www.bundle.com" target="_hplink">bundle.com</a>.

  • 4. St. Louis, MO

    <strong>Money spent shopping online compared to national average:</strong> 2.56X more <strong>Number of online transactions compared to national average:</strong> 2.63X more <strong>Percentage of residents who access the Internet:</strong> 46 percent <strong>Sales tax rate:</strong> 4.23 percent <strong>Number of major e-retailer distribution centers:</strong> 7 Read more at <a href="http://www.bundle.com" target="_hplink">bundle.com</a>.

  • 3. San Francisco, CA

    <strong>Money spent shopping online compared to national average:</strong> 2.64X more <strong>Number of online transactions compared to national average:</strong> 2.67X more <strong>Percentage of residents who access the Internet:</strong> 62 percent <strong>Sales tax rate:</strong> 8.25 percent (rate from 2010. Dropped by 1 percent in July 2011) <strong>Number of major e-retailer distribution centers:</strong> 29 Read more at <a href="http://www.bundle.com" target="_hplink">bundle.com</a>.

  • 2. Manhattan, NY

    <strong>Money spent shopping online compared to national average:</strong> 3.5X more <strong>Number of online transactions compared to national average:</strong> 3.67X more <strong>Percentage of residents who access the Internet:</strong> 55 percent <strong>Sales tax rate:</strong> 4 percent <strong>Number of major e-retailer distribution centers:</strong> 13 Read more at <a href="http://www.bundle.com" target="_hplink">bundle.com</a>.

  • 1. Miami, FL

    <strong>Money spent shopping online compared to national average:</strong> 5.6X more <strong>Number of online transactions compared to national average:</strong> 5X more <strong>Percentage of residents who access the Internet:</strong> 55 percent <strong>Sales tax rate:</strong> 6 percent <strong>Number of major e-retailer distribution centers:</strong> 19 Read more at <a href="http://www.bundle.com" target="_hplink">bundle.com</a>.