Employee Confidence Index Decreases, Second Consecutive Quarter

The Mergis Group Finance and Accounting Employee Confidence Index, a measure of overall confidence among US finance and accounting workers, decreased this quarter to 50.4. This was a 2.2 point decline over the second quarter of 2012, although 5.3 points higher than this time last year. The Mergis Group survey, conducted online by Harris Interactive® among 183 employed finance and accounting workers, indicates a decline in both macroeconomic and personal confidence.

Steve McMahan, executive vice president of Randstad US, Professionals, said: 
 
Over the past two quarters, we have seen a decline in the overall confidence levels of finance and accounting professionals. While the current reading is down from the multiyear high recorded in the first quarter, it is worth noting that confidence levels are still running five points higher than at this time last year. It is also noteworthy that this decline in sentiment is occurring alongside a simultaneous decline in the nation's unemployment rate, suggesting the drop in confidence may be based less on actual economic performance and more on recent negative news coverage of economic conditions abroad, especially in Europe.
 
Furthermore, as the housing market continues toward a path toward normalization and historically low interest rates, many financial lending institutions are looking to ramp up their end-of-year hiring efforts. In the month of September alone, more than 13,000 jobs were added in the financial services sector, with much of the growth in real estate and rental and leasing sub-sectors. It is highly likely that skilled mortgage originators, processors, underwriters, closers, and loan modification specialists with advanced regulatory knowledge will likely be in high demand in the final months of 2012.
 
Third Quarter 2012 Survey Highlights
  • Forty percent of finance and accounting employees believe the economy is getting weaker, an increase of two percentage points from the second quarter of 2012.
  • A mere 15 percent of finance and accounting employees believe more jobs are available, representing a decline of six percentage points from the previous quarter. However, 53 percent believe that fewer jobs are available, representing no change from the previous quarter. 
  • Thirty-eight percent of workers are confident in their ability to find a new job, a decrease from 42 percent in second quarter 2012. Subsequently, 24 percent say they are not confident in their ability to find a new job.
  • Twenty-six percent of finance and accounting workers say they are likely to look for a new job in the next twelve months. However, 58 percent say they are not likely to make a job transition. 
 
The Finance and Accounting Confidence Index supplies insights into employee attitudes and sentiment around the economy, job market, job security, employers, and in the ability to find a new job. Together with other economic indicators, employers can use the report to assess the overall health of the finance and accounting industry and their workforce.  
 
View the latest quarterly trends report.    
 
Survey methodology:
This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Interactive on behalf of The Mergis Group from July 10-12, August 14-16, and September 11-13, 2012, among 3,790 adults ages eighteen and older, of which 183 are employed in finance and accounting. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. 
 
Source: The Mergis Group
 

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