January 17, 2011

Accounting, Finance Employees More Confident

Index shows optimism over job security is up; so is resolve to switch employers

According to the latest results of the Accounting and Finance Employee Confidence Index, released Monday, a greater proportion of those who work in the accounting and financial fields are more confident that they will be able to keep their jobs. Not only that, but indications are that more will try to change jobs to better their situations in the coming year.

The Index rose 2.2 points to 56.1 in the fourth quarter of 2010, according to The Mergis Group, the professional placement division of SFN Group, Inc. (NYSE:SFN), which commissioned the study. Harris Interactive conducted the survey.

Some of the results of the survey included a drop in the number of accounting and finance workers who believe there are fewer jobs available. That’s down 9% from Q3 of 2010. Half of those workers polled within the field were confident that they’d be able to find a new job; that was up 6% from the last quarter.

Accounting and finance workers also felt that it was more likely they’d be able to keep their jobs, with 78% responding that they were confident; the previous quarter that number was 74%.

All that newfound optimism may contribute to some musical chairs in 2011, too, as nearly half of these workers, 44%, indicated that they were likely to look for a new job in 2011. That’s up 14% from Q3.

Brendan Courtney, president of The Mergis Group, said in a statement, “The Mergis Group Accounting and Finance Confidence Index displayed a moderate, yet optimistic gain in the final quarter of 2010, with a noticeable increase in the amount of workers looking to make a job transition.”

He added, “Our Index continues to remain in accord with the national economic situation, reflecting mixed sentiment and fluctuating levels of confidence among workers.” He said the latest report shows that an increase in worker confidence may indicate the economy moving into a stronger recovery; that projects “a return to healthier hiring activity” in 2011.

Courtney went on to say, “If and when that happens, we expect many workers to begin seeking new employment opportunities, with nearly half of accounting and finance workers already reporting the likelihood of job transition in the next 12 months.”

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