Strongest Gains Projected in South Atlantic Region

MENLO PARK, CA -- Financial executives polled for the Robert Half Financial Hiring Index expect hiring in accounting and finance to accelerate during the fourth quarter of 2007.  Nine percent of chief financial officers (CFOs) surveyed said they plan to add full-time employees and 3 percent expect staff reductions.  The net 6 percent increase is up three points from the third-quarter projection.

The national report is based on interviews with more than 1,400 CFOs from a stratified random sample of U.S. companies with 20 or more employees. It was conducted by an independent research firm and developed by Robert Half, the world’s first and largest staffing services firm specializing in accounting and finance. Robert Half has been tracking financial hiring activity in the United States since 1992.

Company expansion and recurring compliance mandates that create more demands for financial teams continue to contribute to a tight hiring market for skilled accounting and finance professionals,” said Max Messmer, chairman and CEO of Robert Half. “The most experienced candidates are receiving multiple employment offers, and more organizations are extending counteroffers to retain top performers.”

Forty-one percent of CFOs who anticipate hiring in the fourth quarter cited rising workloads as the primary driver of demand, while 37 percent said business growth was the leading factor. 

Accounting and Financial Hiring -- By Region

The South Atlantic1 states are projected to experience the most active hiring. A net 11 percent
of CFOs in the region anticipate adding full-time accounting and finance professionals.
Twelve percent of those polled plan to bring in personnel and 1 percent foresee cutbacks.

Businesses in the South Atlantic region seek highly skilled accounting and finance professionals to handle responsibilities ranging from budget forecasting and corporate governance activities to financial statement preparation and strategic planning,” said Messmer. “In particular demand are staff and cost accountants, senior-level financial analysts, and internal auditors.” 

Hiring activity in the Pacific2 and West South Central3 states also is forecast to exceed the national average. A net 8 percent of CFOs in each region expect to add staff during the quarter.

Robert Half has conducted additional CFO interviews in major metropolitan areas to provide more detailed analyses of financial hiring trends in these markets. The local results are available at

Accounting and Financial Hiring -- By Industry

Among industries, executives in the construction and finance, insurance and real estate sectors are most optimistic about hiring. Sixteen percent of CFOs from construction firms plan to bring in staff in the fourth quarter and none expect a reduction in personnel levels. In the finance, insurance and real estate industry, a net 11 percent of executives anticipate adding financial professionals during the quarter.

Robert Half was founded in 1948 and is traded on the New York Stock Exchange. Its financial staffing divisions include Accountemps®, Robert Half® Finance & Accounting and Robert Half® Management Resources, for temporary, full-time and senior-level project professionals, respectively. The company has more than 350 staffing locations in North America, South America, Europe and the Asia-Pacific region, and offers online job search services on its divisional websites, all of which can be accessed at


Financial Hiring: By Region

Percentage ... Increase Decrease No Change Undecided Total

United States 9 3 87 1 100

New England 10 3 85 2 100

Middle Atlantic 7 4 89 0 100

South Atlantic 12 1 87 0 100

East N. Central 2 2 96 0 100

West N. Central 4 5 91 0 100

East S. Central 10 4 85 1 100

West S. Central 11 3 85 1 100

Mountain 10 3 85 2 100

Pacific 14 6 78 2 100


New England: CT, ME, MA, NH, RI, VT; Middle Atlantic: NJ, NY, PA; South Atlantic: DE, DC, FL, GA, MD, NC, SC, VA, WV; East North Central: IL, IN, MI, OH, WI; West North Central: IA, KS, MN, MO, NE, ND, SD; East South Central: AL, KY, MS, TN; West South Central: AR, LA, OK, TX; Mountain: AZ, CO, ID, MT, NV, NM, UT, WY; Pacific: AK, CA, HI, OR, WA

Financial Hiring: By Industry

Percentage ... Increase Decrease No Change Undecided Total

United States 9 3 87 1 100

Manufacturing 5 6 88 1 100

Retail 7 3 87 3 100

Fin., Ins. & R. Estate 16 5 79 0 100

Prof. Services 8 2 89 1 100

Construction 16 0 84 0 100

Wholesale 5 1 92 2 100

Transportation 3 2 94 1 100

Bus. Services 12 6 82 0 100

Comparative Data: Two-Year History of the Financial Hiring Index

Quarter Percent Increase Percent Decrease Net Increase

4Q07 9 3 6

3Q07 6 3 3

2Q07 7 2 5

1Q07 6 3 3

4Q06 6 2 4

3Q06 7 3 4

2Q06 5 4 1

1Q06 8 8 0

4Q05 7 3 4

1 Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia,
West Virginia

2 Alaska, California, Hawaii, Oregon, Washington

3 Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Texas


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