The Mergis Group Finance and Accounting Employee Confidence Index, a measure of overall confidence among U.S. finance and accounting workers, decreased 2.4 points to 53.4 in the first quarter of 2013 after rebounding in the last quarter of 2012. The Mergis Group survey, conducted online by Harris Interactive® among 190 U.S. finance and accounting workers in January, February and March of 2013, finds that alongside the drop in overall confidence, there has also been a decline in their confidence level in job availability and in their personal employment situation.

“Although the first quarter of the year brought a declining confidence level among finance and accounting workers, we believe this may be an anomaly due to the recent sequester and the economic uncertainty it is creating among consumers overall,” said Steve McMahan, President of The Mergis Group. “In fact, several recent reports continue to reflect the promising growth of the finance and accounting sector in the coming year. For example, the Financial Planning Association’s 2012-2013 study revealed that 43 percent of firms intend to hire new staff in 2013. As of January, those predictions appeared to be on track, seeing the highest volume of job ads posted online in the past four years, according to Wanted Analytics.  An ongoing challenge for finance and accounting professionals in getting the right job this year is the ability to possess and excel in the most in demand skills and to offer value-added education achievement such as an MBA with an IT or auditing background. As the housing market continues to show strong recovery, there will also be more growth in the mortgage industry but specifically directed at origination. Refinancing will begin to slow as rates rise so origination may be the most in-demand skill in the near future.” 

Q1 2013 Survey Highlights:

Finance and Accounting Workers Believe the Economy is Getting Stronger

  • Nearly a third (30 percent) of finance and accounting employees believe the economy is getting stronger, rising five percentage points from the fourth quarter of 2012. The number of finance and accounting workers who believe the economy is getting weaker fell five percentage points, from 37 percent to 32 percent.


Fewer Finance and Accounting Workers Believe More Jobs are Available

  • Just 20 percent of finance and accounting employees believe more jobs are available, falling three percentage points from the previous quarter.   

Confidence in Ability to Find New Jobs Slips

  • Just under half (49 percent) of finance and accounting workers are confident in their ability to find a new job, slipping four percentage points from the previous quarter. The number of workers who say they are not confident they could find a new job increased by 10 percentage points, from 16 percent to 26 percent. 

More Workers Likely to Job Search

  • More than a third (37 percent) of finance and accounting workers say they are likely to look for a new job in the next 12 months, an increase from 33 percent last quarter. More than half (53 percent) say they are not likely to job search, falling five percentage points from the previous quarter.  

The Finance and Accounting Confidence Index provides insight into employee attitudes and sentiment around the economy, job market, job security, employers, and in their ability to find a new job. Together with other economic indicators, employers can use this report to assess the overall health of the finance and accounting industry and their workforce.

Survey Methodology

This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Interactive on behalf of The Mergis Group from January 14-16, February 11-13, and March 5-7 2013, among 3,631 adults 18 and older, of which 190 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.

About The Mergis Group

The Mergis Group is a leading professional placement firm that specializes in recruiting for positions in finance and accounting, 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 35 offices nationally. The Mergis Group is a now a part of Randstad. For more information, please visit

About Randstad US

Randstad US is a wholly owned subsidiary of Randstad Holding nv, a $22.0 billion global provider of HR services. As the third largest staffing organization in the US, Randstad holds top positions in permanent placement, office and administrative, IT and accounting and finance. From professional services, commercial staffing, recruitment process outsourcing, to managed services and more, Randstad delivers a comprehensive range of temporary, temporary-to-hire, permanent placement and outsourced placement services. With its 5,660 employment experts, Randstad puts an average of nearly 100,000 people to work in the U.S. each week, through its network of more than 900 branches and client-dedicated locations.

Learn more at and access Randstad’s panoramic US thought leadership knowledge center through its Workforce360 site that offers valuable insight into the latest economic indicators and HR trends shaping the world of work.