Menlo Park, Calif. (March 4, 2004) -- Chief financial officers are showing more optimism about their hiring plans for the second quarter of 2004, driven primarily by business expansion, according to a survey by Robert Half.

Seven percent of executives surveyed expect to add staff during the second quarter, while just 1 percent anticipate personnel reductions. The net 6 percent increase in hiring is up 4 percent from the first-quarter estimate and is the highest net increase projected by CFOs since the third quarter of 2001, according to the Robert Half International Financial Hiring Index, a national poll of 1,400 CFOs from companies with 20 or more employees. Ninety percent of respondents anticipate no change in hiring.

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