There were no major shifts in the confidence level of accounting and finance workers in February, according to the latest Hudson Employment Index.

In recent months, sector workers have remained consistently upbeat compared to their counterparts across the country. In February, a ccounting and finance workers' index climbed about half a point, to 113. The national average across all sectors was 108.2.

The index, which measures employee confidence monthly in a survey of approximately 9,000 workers nationwide across all industries, did reflect plans for staffing changes. Thirty-five percent of workers expected their employers to hire in February, up 1 percent from January, while 22 percent of workers expected layoffs, a 4 percent increase.

While the index is not seasonally adjusted, and some changes are likely tied to the continuation of tax season, hiring expectations have been strong for some time. One-third (33 percent) of the workforce indicated their firms had plans to hire, a figure that has held steady near 30 percent for the past four months and the highest percentage since October 2004.

Nearly half of all managers in the private sector (45 percent) projected an increase in head-count, up from 38 percent in January. There was also a 4 percent increase, to 34 percent, in the number of all managers forecasting hiring within their organization.

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