Job security and personal finance concerns caused confidence among accounting and finance workers to drop in August, to the lowest level in more than a year, according to the Hudson Employment Index.

Employees claiming that their finances were getting better also dropped, down five points to 43 percent of those surveyed. In addition, only 31 percent of the industry's workers reported that their company would be hiring, down from 36 percent the previous month. The index is compiled each month by an independent research firm and is based upon telephone interviews and survey responses from approximately 9,000 U.S. workers.

Overall U.S. worker confidence fell 5.5 points, taking it to the lowest level on record as the national index dropped below its base of 100 for only the second time ever, to 98.2. National workers were less optimistic in all respects pertaining to their personal finances during August. 

"The dramatic decline is not a huge surprise, as permanent hiring typically slows during the summer peak vacation period," said executive vice president for Hudson North America Jeff Anderson, in a statement. "This year, that factor was exacerbated by record-breaking fuel costs that are directly reflected in the index's personal finance readings."

In contrast to the national average, managers in the private sector were more optimistic. Along with their firms' hiring plans being greater, managers also showed positive movement in personal finances and job satisfaction, as well as fewer concerns about job loss.

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