New York (April 7, 2004) -- While accounting and finance workers remain more optimistic about the employment outlook than workers nationwide, they are less optimistic than they were last month, according to Hudson.

Nationally, U.S. workers’ optimism held steady in March at 106.8, while the index for accounting and finance employees in the same month was 113.8, down from 118.2 in February, according to the Hudson Employment Index.

According to Hudson, accounting and finance employees' personal financial situation may be influencing their outlook. Forty-nine percent of accounting and finance employees said their personal financial situation had improved, compared to 44 percent of workers nationally. And just 33 percent of accounting and finance employees say their financial situation worsened in March, versus 36 percent of workers nationwide.

Slightly more accounting and finance employees (30 percent) say they are looking for jobs than the 29 percent of national workers. But just 21 percent of accounting and finance employees were job-hunting in February. The number of accounting and finance employees who are happy in their jobs also dropped, from 77 percent in February to 70 percent in March -- the same as workers nationally.

The job outlook varied much more widely by state, with industrial states registering more pessimism about the job outlook than those nationally and in the South and West. New York State posted the lowest index, at 85.2, followed by Michigan (90.7), Ohio (96.9), Pennsylvania (97.4), and Illinois (98.3). In contrast, California’s index of 113.5 was the highest among the eight states tracked, with Texas coming in second with 107.3.

-- WebCPA staff

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