Bull Bear Report Jan 18 2011

Finance Pros More Optimistic about Landing Jobs This Quarter

By julie steinberg

Accounting and finance workers are feeling more optimistic this quarter than last about their ability to snag a job in the industry, according to a recently-released survey conducted by The Mergis Group.

The Accounting and Finance Employee Confidence Index, which measures workplace confidence among accounting and finance employees, increased 2.2 points to 56.1 in Q4 2010. Confidence rose from 53.9 in the third quarter of 2010.

According to the survey, 51% of respondents believe there are fewer jobs available, a nine-point drop from last quarter. Half of respondents are confident that they'll be able to land a new job, up six points from last quarter. In addition, 44% of respondents said they're likely to switch jobs in the next year, up 14 points from the last quarter.

"As long as they have a pretty clean accounting or finance profile, employees are less worried about their job security," said Damon Roth, director of The Mergis Group. "They're not as worried about their job getting eliminated like they were 12 to 18 months ago."

Damon said that the optimism results from Wall Street firms hiring "quite a few people" in the finance and accounting space in 2010. He also said he's observed an exodus of talent from Big Four accounting firms to Wall Street, resulting in increased hiring in the accounting space.

Roth expects employee optimism to continue into the next quarter, citing the busy weeks of business his recruiting firm has experienced in the wake of the new year.

"We were pretty much guns blazing on January 3," he said. "We've already gotten a bunch of requests for qualified talent."

Write to Julie Steinberg



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