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The State of the Finance and Accounting Industry

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), total U.S. unemployment has seen little movement, hovering around 5%, yet accounting and finance occupations have seen steady employment gains. The BLS projects employment for all business and financial operations occupations to grow 8% from 2014 to 2024, adding over 632,000 new jobs.

The financial sector is one of the most booming industries in the current market. Behind every business, from local start-ups to big companies, is a financial department holding it together. Finance and insurance even represented 7% of US gross domestic product in 2014, which amounted to $1.223 trillion.

Competitive Talent Pool

According to the National Association of Colleges and Universities, for students graduating in this year, accounting and finance majors were among those most likely to land jobs. The demand for accounting and finance professionals is up across the board, from the entry-level to C-Suite.

So how do you stay ahead of the competition for top talent?

Money Talks

As the economy improves, even more accounting and finance experts will be needed to prepare and examine salary offerings. The increased demand for top talent means salaries will rise. While this is good news for job seekers, low unemployment in accounting and finance (3% compared to 5% overall), means employers will have a tough time engaging talent.

Speaking of salaries, the BLS places the median annual wage for all business and financial occupations at $65,710, significantly higher than the $36,200 figure for all occupations.

Changes in Banking

Many banking and accounting firms have been simplified their business models over the last few years, both for economic reasons and to reduce operational complexity. There is an increasing realization that they do not or cannot excel at every activity, and that it may be easier and cheaper to outsource certain responsibilities. For example, using a staffing firm to recruit talent.

In this new organizational setting, maintaining a reputable company brand and creating an inspirational culture that can appeal to a new generation of workers will be an entirely new challenge.

A Multigenerational Workforce

It’s a multigenerational world—one where members of several eras work together and blend their skills. Here’s a breakdown of generations in the U.S. workforce, per the Incentive Research Foundation:

55 Million Millennials

53 Million Gen Xers

44 Million Baby Boomers

4 Million Traditionalists

When it comes to Millennials, some of their career must-haves differ from earlier generations. Millennials demand positive cultures, flexible hours and personal fulfillment—they won’t stay at a company for long without those. What remains the same is the importance they place on salaries.

To find out what to pay your people, check out our 2017 Salary Guide for accounting and finance pros!

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Author

Accounting Principals

We're Accounting Principals--a leader in finance and accounting staffing. In fact, since 2010, we've been part of Adecco Group, a Global 500 company and leader in staffing services around the world. But this isn't staffing as usual. We take quite a different approach than most staffing agencies. A people-focused approach. We believe in forming real relationships with both our clients and our candidates. We want to understand the needs on both sides.

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