Confidence among U.S. finance and accounting employees rose 8.5 points to 57.8 during the first quarter of 2012, marking the highest level in four years, according to the Finance and Accounting Employee Confidence Index by The Mergis Group.

The survey, which interviewed 231 workers in accounting or finance, also shows that while more respondents are confident regarding the economy’s strength and the availability of jobs, 49 percent of respondents are optimistic when it comes to finding new jobs, in spite of today’s highly competitive job market. That is a jump from 40 percent in the fourth quarter of 2011. Thirty-one percent of respondents say they are likely to look for new opportunities within the next 12 months.

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