Optimism about the employment outlook among the nation's accounting and finance workers took a hit in October, even as confidence among all workers nationally rebounded, according to staffing firm Hudson.

The Hudson Employment Index for accounting and finance workers fell 4.2 points last month to 115.1, down from its 2004 high of 119.3 in September. Despite the decline, the industry index still outpaced the national Hudson Employment Index for workers in all sectors, which rebounded 1.6 points to 108.5, nearing its 2004 high of 108.9.

According to Hudson, accounting and finance workers were more negative about their personal finances and advancement opportunities in October and less optimistic about their industry's hiring plans.

The percentage of employees who categorize their personal finances as "good" dropped six points to 33 percent in October, from 39 percent in September, while the number of accounting and finance workers worried about losing their jobs crept up by one point to 15 percent.

Opportunity and advancement forecasts by accounting and finance employees also became grimmer, with a four-point increase in the number of workers who didn't believe that their next job would be better (from 15 to 19 percent), while the percentage of workers who felt that advancement opportunities existed within their organizations fell three points to 49 percent.

Nationwide, workers across all industries expressed a vote of confidence in employment market conditions in the weeks leading up to the election, as the hiring expectations of both workers and managers nationally rose two points in October, to 34 percent and 35 percent respectively. After holding at 17 percent or higher for eight consecutive months, the percentage of U.S. workers expecting layoffs fell to 16 percent in October, its second lowest reading of the year.

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