Tax, accounting and bookkeeping services on a year-long hiring spree…
Index hits recessionary levels. A leading gauge of confidence among finance and accounting professionals has hit its lowest level since early 2009. But 61 percent are confident in the future of their current employer, up from 56 percent in the previous quarter.
Accounting and bookkeeping sector adds 17,800 jobs in May. In the biggest single-month gain since the recession, the accounting industry added almost 18,000 new jobs in May, bringing the total headcount to 926,300, a 29-month high. In fact, accounting was one of the few bright spots in an otherwise disappointing jobs report.
But corporate employers raise starting pay. While most new college graduates are just happy to get a job this Spring, they’re probably happier going to work in business and industry because that’s where the money is. Starting salaries in public accounting are sinking 6.4% from last year to an average $46,323 this year, according to the National Association of Colleges and Employers. But starting salaries in corporate accounting are surging 5.2%, to $49,732. In auditing, CPA firms are paying $47,889, down 5.1%. And business and industry is paying $48,721, up 3.2%.
No economic slowdown has been as bad for jobs as this one. The big red line is the current employment recession. Nothing in the last 63 years has been as painful or as prolonged for American workers. The good news? the red line seems to be trending upward lately. Says economics analyst Bill McBride at Calculated Risk: There are 6.955 million fewer payroll jobs now than before the recession started in 2007 with 13.75 million Americans currently unemployed. Another 8.6 million are working part time for economic reasons, and about 4 million more workers have left the labor force. Of those unemployed, 5.8 million have been unemployed for six months or more. Clearly the overall employment situation remains grim.
But they bill for it too. The best firms, according to INSIDE Public Accounting, start paying more from the first day and from the bottom up. For instance, IPA’s Best of the Best pay new graduates about $55,000, compared to $50,000 at their competitors — a 10% advantage that generally carries through every job level.
Small business optimism slumps in March, according to SurePayroll. The index fell two percentage points from February to 69 percent in March, with hiring is down 2.2% year-to-date. “While large businesses, medium-sized businesses and even larger small businesses may be seeing improvements in hiring, the smallest of businesses aren’t,” the company said.
Seasonally-adjusted employment sinks to 874,100. That’s down from 876,400 in January, according to new government data, and part of a consistent decline since January 2008. Meanwhile, the nation and economy overall added 192,000 jobs to non-farm payrolls in February, the fastest pace in nine months. The unemployment rate declined to 8.9 percent, almost a two-year low. Economists suggest the economy may be shifting into higher gear. But you wouldn’t know it from the employment trends in the almost million-person accounting and bookkeeping sector.
Accounting and bookkeeping sector hits new low. Accounting and Bookkeeping, All Employees, in Thousands As the nation’s overall unemployment rate ticked upward to 9.8% in November from 9.6%, the number of jobs in the accounting and bookkeeping sector declined by another 1,600 to a preliminary seasonally-adjusted 876,000, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. It’s a new post-crash low.
QuickBooks, Oracle and SAP dominate the want ads. After tabulating about 500 job listings for accountants, new research shows that QuickBooks skills are most in demand today, followed by Oracle and SAP. Not listed here, of course, is Excel, which is a prerequisite for nearly all open accounting jobs today, according to the author, Hunter Richards at SoftwareAdvice.com/accounting. In the charts below, the big pie chart in the middle ranks the overall most-popular software packages: Intuit: 27% Oracle: 19% SAP: 13% Microsoft: 8% Sage: 8% ADP: 3% Lawson: 2%
Headcount hits new post-crash low. The number of jobs in the accounting and bookkeeping sector sank again last month to a seasonally-adjusted 878,600, down 4,700 from the month before and 91,500 off the peak of 970,100 in February 2008. At the same time, the nation added 151,000 private sector jobs, the 10th straight months of albeit anemic gains, according to the latest data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The nation’s unemployment rate remained unchanged at 9.6%.
But 3 in 10 looking for new jobs. The Mergis Group’s accounting and finance employee confidence index increased 0.6 points to 53.9 in the third quarter, showing a decline in employee confidence in the economy and job market, that was more than offset by increased optimism in their own personal employment situations.
But where are the jobs? Companies await economic restart. Starting salaries for accounting and finance professionals could eke out 1% to 3% gains next year over 2010 levels, according to the new annual Salary Guide from Robert Half, the job agency. The hottest jobs in an albeit frozen economy are business analysts, tax accountants and financial analysts — which can expect starting salary advances of more than 3% over 2010. Here are some highlights in an otherwise bleak jobs outlook:
Firms maintain headcounts 4% smaller than last year and 8% off pre-recession peak. by Rick Telberg While the rest of the U.S. economy shed 131,000 jobs in July, sparking fears of a double-dip recession, rosters at accounting and bookkeeping services remained unchanged from the month before at a seasonally-adjusted 893,200 workers. That’s the good news. The bad news: July’s employment for the industry represented a 3% decline from the year-ago month, and, possibly, an acceleration in job losses because the 3% year-to-year decline in July followed a 2.8% year-to-year decline in June, 2.9% May-to-May, and 1.8% for both March and April.
Finance professionals encouraged by economic rebound. The Accounting and Finance Employee Confidence Index, a measure of overall confidence among U.S. accounting and finance workers, increased 2.7 points to 53.3 in the second quarter of 2010, according to The Mergis Group, an employment agency.