The Big Picture
Employers increased their payrolls by 236,000 jobs in March—including gains in leisure and hospitality, professional and business services, government and health care industries. And the national unemployment rate dipped slightly from February’s 3.6% back down to 3.5%.
Credit: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
This growth remains healthy by traditional standards but lay-off announcements and rising interest rates have begun to decelerate employers’ hiring efforts. Still, the labor shortage for accounting and finance professionals has created a different experience for this community of workers—as well as the companies who hire them.
We break down our forecast of what employers and job seekers can expect in Q2.
More than 300,000 accountants and auditors have left their profession in the past two years, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The cause? Well, a few things. Generational shifts in the workplace is one factor, with many baby-boomer professionals heading toward retirement. But probably most concerning for employers is the significant drop of recent graduates entering the field and a large group of professionals of all ages exiting since 2019. In fact, the Association of International Certified Professional Accountant’s reports a near 9% decrease in accounting majors for quite some time now — seeing the drop as early as 2012. Other more enticing fields, like finance and technology, are providing more of a draw to these workers recently.
In response, companies have raised accounting and finance role salaries to help attract more talent to filling open positions. An article in The Wall Street Journal says the starting salaries for entry-level U.S. accountants and auditors rose 13% to nearly $61,000 a year in 2022. Employers hesitant to make serious hiring decisions in this market are now turning to temporary or temp-to-hire solutions to address the lack of talent, while still getting the accounting and finance departments’ workload addressed.
Starting salaries for entry-level U.S. accountants and auditors rose 13% to nearly $61,000 a year in 2022.
Partnering with staffing and recruiting firms that have viable, up-to-date talent networks who have the experience to hit the ground running is an essential resource in 2023. These hiring experts have an intimate understanding of the latest hiring trends that are currently swaying candidates’ decisions and can offer insights on how to win talent over. Another tactic that’s proven successful for employers is broadening qualifications for certain roles and hiring for potential rather than specific credentials or experience that can be learned on the job.
For Job Seekers
While the trajectory for accounting, tax, finance and audit professions may seem lackluster— the potential in these roles can be fulfilling and lead to long, exciting careers. Not only is it lucrative, especially with the current talent shortage, but this profession can provide the foundation for those more enticing opportunities in technology or finance down the road.
Now’s the time to explore what this field has to offer. Take on temporary or temp-to-hire positions to expand your knowledge, software experience and industry knowledge. Learn what type of benefits, culture and career development initiatives are most important to you and seek them out in prospective roles. To jump-start this process, check out our latest job opportunities in an area near you.