A Robert Half news release said the net 6% hike is unchanged from the fourth-quarter 2007 forecast. The majority of respondents (86%) said they did not anticipate any changes.
Among the CFOs anticipating hiring, 42% cited rising workloads as the primary reason, while 30% pointed to anticipated business expansion.
Hiring is expected to be strongest in the West South Central region, where a net 12% of CFOs anticipate adding full-time accounting and finance professionals: 14% of executives surveyed will be hiring and just 2% project cutbacks, the release said.
Meanwhile, hiring in the Middle Atlantic and Pacific states is also expected to best the national average. A net 9% of CFOs in the Middle Atlantic region and 8% in the Pacific states expect to add staff during the quarter.
Among all industries, executives in the business services sector are most optimistic about hiring. A net 15% of CFOs from business services firms expect to hire additional staff in the first quarter.
The national report is based on interviews with more than 1,400 CFOs from a random sample of U.S. companies with 20 or more employees.