Accountants and other financial professionals are growing more pessimistic about the U.S. job market and economy, according to the Mergis Group, a Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based recruiting firm.

Sixty-six percent of 439 employees surveyed over the first quarter said the economy was declining, while 56 percent said there were fewer jobs available. Both results were up 15 percent from the end of 2007.

More than a third said they planned to look for a new job in the months ahead.

"Workers are starting to be concerned with the current economy, but in reality we are seeing a host of positive hiring trends," Jack Causa, senior vice president and group executive for the Mergis Group, said in a statement. "We are continuing to see positive growth in this sector, especially for those with hard-to-find skills such as tax, financial reporting, corporate auditing and accounting for derivatives," he said.

According to the Labor Department, accounting and finance workers have the best job prospects of any industry, he added.