The Twin Cities of Minneapolis/St. Paul will continue to face a competitive job market for finance and accounting professionals this year, according to a new study.

Nearly 40 percent of the senior-level finance and accounting professionals interviewed in a study by recruitment company SALO and researcher Satisfaction Management Systems said they anticipate a shortage of qualified workers in 2008.

Nine out of 10 say the shortage will be driven by an insufficient supply of candidates with the required skills.

To attract top candidates, nearly half of the study participants are using compensation and benefits, and another 20 percent are looking at ways to create a corporate culture that delivers real quality-of-life benefits in order to retain current staff.

The SALO Forecast confirms earlier research on the finance and accounting industry by the U.S. Department of Labor and the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development - all of which point to high demand for finance and accounting professionals at least through 2014.

Rachel Hillman, the Minneapolis/St. Paul market analyst at the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, said that projections for 2004-2014 show that business/financial occupations will grow 20 percent in the Twin Cities area, translating into 23,000 new jobs. With the 20,000 workers who are expected to retire before 2014, there will be a total of 43,000 business and finance job openings by 2014.

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