Press Release Archive
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla., July 22, 2008 — The Accounting and Finance Employee Confidence Index, a measure of overall confidence among U.S. accounting and finance workers, decreased 0.7 point to 49.8 in the second quarter of 2008, reaching a new low since the survey began in 2005, according to a recent survey commissioned by The Mergis Group® and conducted by Harris Interactive®. The survey reflects a continued decline in workers’ overall confidence as the result of on going concerns about the economy and job market, despite continued growth in specific financial service sectors such as accounting and tax regulation.
Results from the Accounting & Finance Employment Report:
- Seventy percent of accounting and finance workers believe the economy is getting weaker, an increase of four percentage points from the first quarter of 2008.
- Fifty-nine percent of accounting and finance workers believe that there are fewer jobs available, up three percentage points from the previous quarter; yet 60 percent of workers are confident in their ability to find a new position, reflecting a two-point increase from the first quarter.
- Three-quarters (75 percent) of accounting and finance workers surveyed believe it is unlikely that they will lose their job in the next year, a decrease of seven percentage points from the first quarter of 2008.
“The prolonged instability of the job market has affected accounting and finance workers’ confidence, especially in certain areas of the sector which have been hit the hardest by current market conditions. The good news is that although the outlook for the economy is still tentative, we continue to receive employment requests for a wide range of accounting positions, such as financial analysts and financial reporting accountants,” stated Jack Causa, senior vice president and group executive for The Mergis Group. “Although this month’s index is at its lowest level to date, the percentage drop was minimal which indicates workers’ concerns are leveling off despite their uncertainty for next year.”
|2Q 2008 Employment Report Results: Accounting & Finance||Accounting & Finance Workers||U.S. Workers|
|1Q 2008||2Q 2008||% Point Change||1Q 2008||2Q 2008||% Point Change|
|Job Availability||More Jobs||14%||13%||-1||14%||12%||-2|
|Ability to Find New Job||Confident||58%||60%||+2||53%||51%||-2|
|Future of Current Employer||Confident||72%||70%||-2||64%||64%||0|
|Likelihood to Lose Job||Likely||9%||14%||+5||12%||13%||+1|
|Likelihood to Look for New Job||Likely||35%||34%||-1||36%||35%||-1|
About the Spherion Employment Report
As part of the Spherion® Emerging Workforce® Series of employment surveys, the quarterly Accounting and 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 are scaled from 0 (no confidence) to 100 (complete confidence). A reading above 50 indicates a positive confidence level.
The 2008 Mergis® Accounting & Finance Employment Report for the first quarter was conducted online within the United States by Harris Interactive on behalf of The Mergis Group® between April 7-9, April 15-17, May 7-9, May 12-14, June 2-4, June 10-12, 2008. This survey was conducted among a U.S. sample of 8,029 employed adults, aged 18 years and older, of whom 318 work in accounting and finance positions. Results were weighted as needed for age, sex, race/ethnicity, income, education and region. Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for respondents’ propensity to be online.
All sample surveys and polls, whether or not they use probability sampling, are subject to multiple sources of error which are most often not possible to quantify or estimate, including sampling error, coverage error, error associated with nonresponse, error associated with question wording and response options, and post-survey weighting and adjustments. Therefore, Harris Interactive avoids the words “margin of error” as they are misleading. All that can be calculated are different possible sampling errors with different probabilities for pure, unweighted, random samples with 100% response rates. These are only theoretical because no published polls come close to this ideal.
Respondents for this survey were selected from among those who have agreed to participate in Harris Interactive surveys. The data have been weighted to reflect the composition of the U.S. adult population. Because the sample is based on those who agreed to be invited to participate in the Harris Interactive online research panel, no estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.
About The Mergis Group
The Mergis Group is a leading professional placement firm that specializes in recruiting for positions in finance and accounting, engineering and manufacturing, sales and marketing, legal and human resources. The firm provides recruiting services to Fortune 500 and small and mid-sized companies through its network of 38 offices nationally.
The Mergis Group is a division of Spherion Corporation (NYSE:SFN). For more information, please visit www.mergisgroup.com.
About Harris Interactive
Harris Interactive® is a global leader in custom market research. Powered by science and technology, the company provides innovative research, insights and strategic advice to help its clients make more confident decisions which lead to measurable and enduring improvements in performance. Harris Interactive serves clients globally through its North American, European and Asian offices, and through a network of independent market research firms. For more information, please visit www.harrisinteractive.com.