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 MENLO PARK, Calif., Sept. 8 /PRNewswire/ -- The following was released today by Robert Half International Inc. (NYSE: RHI):
 Twelve percent of chief financial officers (CFOs) in Robert Half International's quarterly hiring survey expect to add accounting and finance professionals in the fourth quarter. Only four percent project a decrease.
 The net positive increase of eight percent is the highest in the history of the survey, which began in the fall of 1992. The reported net increase has now grown larger in each of three consecutive quarters. Seventy-seven percent of the CFOs expected no change in their hiring and seven percent were unsure.
 The national poll includes responses from 1,000 CFOs who were randomly selected from all U.S. companies with more than 20 employees. It was conducted by an independent research firm and developed by Robert Half International Inc., the world's largest staffing services firm specializing in the accounting, finance and information systems fields.
 "CFOs have now reported stepped-up hiring plans for each of the prior three quarters and their forecasts have become stronger each time," said Max Messmer, chairman and CFO of Robert Half International. "The cumulative results confirm the gradual strengthening of the economy. They also show that the recovery is spreading more uniformly across the entire nation, even in areas that were hit early and hard by the recessi ? Accounting and Finance Hiring -- by Industry
 Eighteen percent of respondents in the retail and wholesale industries plan to increase hiring; only 4 percent project a decrease. This is the largest increase in any industry polled, much higher than last year's projected nine-percent increase.
 "Retail and wholesale companies are gearing up for holiday shoppers as they do every year in the fourth quarter," said Messmer. The fact that hiring in this industry sector is projected to be twice as high as last year's forecast shows how far the economy has come."
 CFOs in the professional and business services sector report the second-highest level of hiring plans. Twice the number of companies in that industry plan to hire compared to those who plan to decrease their accounting and finance personnel. (The levels are 8 percent and 4 percent, respectively.) Part of the increase is most likely due to the recent changes in the tax laws creating demand for more tax and personal financial experts.

Accounting and Finance Hiring -- by Region
 CFOs predict hiring activity will increase in every region of the nation. The South Atlantic census area is leading the growth; while the Pacific states, with significant defense cuts and military base closings, have the lowest projections. Sixteen percent of CFOs in the South Atlantic states foresee an increase in hiring, and only 2 percent expect a decrease. Even in the Pacific region, however, the net increase is positive. (Eight percent vs. four percent.)
 "The South Atlantic states, stretching from Delaware to Florida, are experiencing a recovery in both commercial and residential real estate as well as growth in mortgage services," explained Messmer. "Many states also have aggressive and successful programs to encourage corporate relocations within their borders.
 "Some of the best news may be that the Pacific region, despite its large defense cutbacks, shows a positive gain in hiring," said Messmer. "Many observers believe the worst is over in this part of the country, and this finding supports their opinion."
 Robert Half International Inc. was founded in 1948. The New York Stock Exchange traded firm has two major financial staffing divisions -- for permanent employment, Robert Half; and for temporary employment, Accountemps. The company has more than 150 offices in the United States, Canada and Europe.
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 /NOTE TO EDITORS: Charts are available that provide breakdowns of hiring levels and regional differences for the past year. Please contact the person listed below./
 /CONTACT: Steve Pehanich of Robert Half International Inc., 415-854-9700/

CO: Robert Half International Inc. ST: California IN: SU:

PK-SG -- SJ001 -- 9803 09/08/93 12:15 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Sep 8, 1993

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