New York (June 4, 2004) -- Accounting workers grew more optimistic about the job outlook in May while workers nationwide grew less so, according to data from staffing firm Hudson.

The Hudson Employment Index, which measures the U.S. workforce’s confidence in the employment market, for accounting workers in May climbed to 110.9, up from 108.7 in April. The 2.2 point increase among accounting workers reflects a consistent upward trend that the industry has shown all year, according to Hudson.

At the same time, the national index for all workers fell to 104.8, its lowest level this year, down from 107.1 in April. The national downturn suggests the labor market may have taken a breather in May after gaining momentum throughout the year, according to Jeff Anderson, senior vice president of Hudson Global Resources.

A full 47 percent of accounting employees say their personal financial situation has improved, compared to 40 percent of national workers. Accounting workers also predict more hirings and layoffs than U.S. workers. One in three accounting workers say their employers will be hiring in the coming months, versus 32 percent nationally. And 21 percent of accounting employees expect layoffs, versus 19 percent of employees nationwide.

Overall, the number of employees surveyed across all industries who report that their companies are adding jobs is at 32 percent, down a single point from both March and April. The number of workers worried about losing their jobs inched up to 19 percent from 18 percent last month.

The index is based on a phone survey of about 9,000 U.S. workers.

-- WebCPA staff

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