New York (Sept. 3, 2004) -- Accounting workers' confidence about employment slid somewhat in August, following four moths of steady gains, according to a survey by staffing firm Hudson.

The Hudson Accounting and Finance Index slid 4.4 points in August, from its July high of 118.1 down to 113.7. The drop in accounting and finance workers’ confidence can be attributed to a 2-percentage-point increase in the percentage of workers who believe that their organizations will be laying off employees, up from 16 percent in July.

The percentage of workers reporting concern over losing their jobs also climbed 2 percentage points from July to 20 percent in August. Corresponding with the elevated concern over job security, the number of accounting and finance workers engaged in a job search rose 1.4 percentage points to 26 percent in August. However, industry workers have displayed confidence in their personal financial situation, with the number reporting improvement increasing by 1 percentage point to reach 52 percent.

However, even with the decline, accounting workers are more optimistic that workers nationwide. The national Hudson Employment Index, based on responses from 9,568 workers, rose a half-point, but only reached 108.9. Across all industries, the percentage of employees who anticipate hiring in their firms remained stable, with 33 percent of workers and 34 percent of managers reporting that they expect their employers to add staff.

Private sector workers continue to be more bullish than the overall workforce, with 39 percent reporting hiring plans by their employers for the fifth straight month. Meanwhile, the number of workers rating their personal finances as excellent or good has grown incrementally, peaking this month at 45 percent.

“Employees are maintaining an overall positive outlook on jobs, despite the current debate about the strength of the labor market,” said Jeff Anderson, senior vice president of Hudson Global Resources. “Since the beginning of the year, we have seen a notable increase in the demand for staffing and outsourced solutions."

Anderson noted that the number of consultants Hudson North America has placed grew over 30 percent since January.

-- WebCPA staff

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