Accounting & Finance Worker Confidence Hits Summer Doldrums
Worker confidence among accounting and finance professionals fell 3.4 points, to 106.6 in July, according to the latest Hudson Employment Index. This level is lower than July 2005 when the confidence level among accounting and finance workers was 110. Overall, the composite Index held relatively steady, declining only 0.5, to 101.9.
The Hudson Employment Index for accounting and finance workers indicated that in July:
- The number of workers expecting their companies to hire fell for the third straight month, to 30 percent, the lowest level on record for this sector. A month ago, the level was 34 percent.
- Only 20 percent of the workforce expected their employer to cut staff in the coming months, compared to 24 percent who made that statement in June.
- The number of workers concerned about losing their jobs increased 5 points, to 22 percent.
- While workers who rated their finances as excellent rose 5 points to a record high of 25 percent, the number of workers who believed their finances were improving dropped 3 points, to 44 percent.
Worker confidence remains relatively stable overall, however, the current level of 101.9 is the lowest level yet for 2006 and almost 2 points lower than the 103.7 level from July of last year. Many of the underlying measures, such as personal finances and job satisfaction, were unchanged in July. Marginal movement was seen in a 1 point reduction in the number of workers expecting their company to cut staff, which fell to 16 percent overall, and a 1 point increase in the number of employees concerned about job security, which rose to 74 percent.
“The overall sense of stability we found this month is quite surprising,” Steve Wolfe, executive vice president, Hudson, North America, said in a prepared statement about the July Index. “It comes at a time when so many factors such as high energy prices, poor stock performance and escalating fighting overseas contribute to a sense of instability and a perceived softening of the economy. Yet worker confidence does not appear to be affected by this.”
Despite the overall stability, managers as a whole were less optimistic in July than in June, due to less expected hiring activity and a weakened confidence in finances. Confidence did rise among private sector managers, who reported significantly higher levels of job satisfaction.
The Hudson Employment Index is based on monthly telephone surveys with approximately 9,000 American workers. The Index tracks employment trends regarding career opportunities, hiring intentions, job satisfaction and retention. The data is compiled by Rasmussen Reports LLC, an independent research firm.
Consumer confidence also held steady in July, according to the Conference Board Consumer Confidence Survey which stands at 106.5, up slightly from June’s 105.4. The Present Situation Index rose to 133.0 from 132.2 and the Expectations Index was at 88.8 from 87.5 last month.
“Consumer confidence continues to hold steady, with the prognosis little changed from last month,” Lynn Franco, Director of The Conference Board Consumer Research Center, said in a prepared statement. “Present conditions remain favorable, though not as strong as earlier this year. Expectations for the months ahead remain cautious and also below levels earlier this year.”
The Consumer Confidence Survey is based on a representative sample of 5,000 U.S. households. The monthly survey is conducted on behalf of The Conference Board by TNS, the world’s largest custom research company.
Previous coverage of the Hudson Employment Index includes: