The accounting and finance index declined in May, dropping 3.6 points, to 107.2. The latest reading is close to May 2005, when the sector index registered 106.8. The national composite index also fell 5.4 points, to 102.3.

Despite the overall drop in confidence, May's polling revealed areas of optimism. In particular, just 20 percent of the work force was concerned about job loss in May, down from 21 percent in April and 22 percent a year ago. Additionally, the number of workers expecting layoffs held steady at 17 percent, while the number content with their jobs was also stable at 74 percent.

"The drop in confidence is not unexpected, especially when you consider the elevated gas prices, rising interest rates and slipping stocks, which are all compounded by upcoming seasonal factors," said executive vice president for Hudson-North America Steve Wolfe, in a statement. "However, the news isn't all bad. Workers are still generally satisfied at work and confident that their jobs are safe despite the constant barrage of negative headlines."

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