A measure of the overall confidence of accounting and finance employees dipped slightly in the fourth quarter.

The Accounting and Finance Employee Confidence Index, a measure of overall confidence among U.S. accounting and finance workers, dipped 0.8 points to 50.9 in the fourth quarter of 2009, according to a recent survey commissioned by The Mergis Group, the professional placement division of Spherion Corporation. The survey, conducted by Harris Interactive, shows that more accounting and finance workers believe the economy is getting stronger, although fewer workers expressed confidence in their ability to find a new job.

The survey found that 30 percent of accounting and finance workers believe the economy is getting stronger, representing a 6 percentage point increase from the third quarter of 2009. However, fewer accounting and finance workers are confident in their ability to find a new job. Specifically, 39 percent are confident, compared to 46 percent in the previous quarter. Approximately 30 percent of accounting and finance workers are likely to look for a new job in the next 12 months, up 1 percentage point from the third quarter of 2009.

Mergis Group president Brendan Courtney noted that the Confidence Index remains near the highest level in two years. He believes much of the job growth among accounting and finance employees will be fueled by demand for skilled professionals who can successfully navigate companies through the regulatory compliance environment. “Positions such as tax accountants, auditors, compliance directors, credit managers and financial analysts will be in great demand this year,” he predicted.

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