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Fort Lauderdale, FL, May 26, 2006 — The Accounting and Finance Employee Confidence Index, a measure of overall confidence among accounting and finance workers in the U.S., increased 5.1 points to 65.2 in the first quarter of 2006, according to a recent survey by Spherion Corporation (NYSE:SFN).
Fueled mainly by higher macroeconomic confidence, the survey revealed that 36 percent of adult workers in the accounting and finance profession believe the economy is strengthening, compared to 26 percent in the previous quarter. Thirty-six percent of accounting and finance workers also believe more jobs are available, versus 25 percent of workers in the fourth quarter of 2005.
In addition, accounting and finance workers are also more likely to be confident than the overall U.S. workforce. Specifically in the first quarter of 2006, 71 percent of accounting and finance workers are confident in the future of their current employer and 62 percent are confident in their ability to find a job.
“Accounting and finance workers have good reason to be confident,” said Brendan Courtney, vice president of Professional Services for Spherion®. “Growing businesses and corporate governance initiatives have increased the demand for skilled accounting and finance workers. As this continues, companies are encountering skill shortages, especially for public accountants and auditors. In response to this trend, however, we are seeing companies raise salaries, enhance benefits, provide professional development opportunities and offer more work/life balance to retain star performers and attract top talent.”
Employee Confidence Index: The latest Accounting and Finance Employee Confidence Index, a measure of overall confidence among accounting and finance workers in the U.S., was 65.2 for the first quarter of 2006, rising 5.1 points from the previous quarter. Likewise, the U.S. Employee Confidence Index increased 1.5 points to 58.3 for the same period. The quarterly Accounting and Finance Employee Confidence Index may have risen as a result of more workers expressing confidence in both the economy and their personal employment situation.
About the Spherion Employment Report
As part of the Spherion® Emerging Workforce® Series of employment surveys, the quarterly Accounting & Finance Employment Report provides a snapshot of the latest workforce trends among accounting and finance professionals across the country. Three key indices are measured: the Spherion Job Security Index, which captures how likely respondents think it is that they will lose their job or that their job will be eliminated in the next 12 months; the Spherion Job Transition Index, which captures how likely respondents are to look for a new job in the next 12 months and the Employee Confidence Index that measures employees’ overall confidence in the economy, their employer and their ability to find other employment. The Employee Confidence Index is calculated from the results of four components that reflect these aspects of employee confidence. For each component item a ‘score’ is calculated by taking the difference of the percentage of positive responses and the percentage of negative responses. These four scores are then averaged to indicate an overall level of employee confidence and is scaled from 0 (no confidence) to 100 (complete confidence). A reading above 50 indicates a positive confidence level.
The 2006 Spherion® Accounting & Finance Employment Report is based on data from a Harris Interactive® online survey conducted on behalf of Spherion Corporation. A U.S. sample of 9,123 employed adults, aged 18 years and older, of whom 434 work in accounting and finance positions, was interviewed in a series of polls conducted between January 3-5, January 10-12, February 7-9, February 14-16, March 8-10 and March 14-16, 2006. Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, income, education and region were weighted where it is necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting adjusted for respondents’ propensity to be online. In theory, with probability samples of this size, one can say with 95 percent certainty that the results for the overall sample have a sampling error of plus or minus 1 percentage point. Sampling error for the results of employed adults who work in accounting and finance positions (n=434) is plus or minus 5 percentage points. The online samples are not probability samples.
Spherion Corporation (NYSE:SFN) is a leading recruiting and staffing company that provides integrated solutions to meet the evolving needs of companies and job candidates. As an industry pioneer for 60 years, Spherion has screened and placed millions of individuals in temporary, temp-to-hire and full-time jobs. Positions range from administrative and light industrial to a host of professions that include accounting/finance, information technology, engineering, manufacturing, legal, human resources and sales/marketing.
With more than 650 offices in the United States and Canada, Spherion delivers innovative workforce solutions that improve business performance. Spherion provides its services to more than 8,000 customers, from Fortune 500 companies to a wide range of small and mid-size organizations. Employing 375,000 people annually through its network, Spherion is one of North America’s largest employers. To learn more, visit www.spherion.com.
About Harris Interactive®
Harris Interactive is the 13th largest and fastest-growing market research firm in the world. The company provides research-driven insights and strategic advice to help its clients make more confident decisions which lead to measurable and enduring improvements in performance. Harris Interactive is widely known for The Harris Poll, one of the longest running, independent opinion polls and for pioneering online market research methods. The company has built what could conceivably be the world’s largest panel of survey respondents, the Harris Poll Online. Harris Interactive serves clients worldwide through its United States, Europe and Asia offices, its wholly-owned subsidiary Novatris in France and through a global network of independent market research firms. The service bureau, HISB, provides its market research industry clients with mixed-mode data collection, panel development services as well as syndicated and tracking research consultation. More information about Harris Interactive may be obtained at www.harrisinteractive.com.
To become a member of the Harris Poll Online, visit www.harrispollonline.com.