February 2014 Legal Industry Jobs Report

January Hiring Numbers Reveal 113,000 Jobs Added

The BLS “The Employment Situation – January 2014” report has revealed that only 113,000 new jobs were added to the United States economy – yet another month with hiring numbers thousands less than expected by economists.

December’s report was a disappointment with just 75,000 jobs added. January marks the second month in a row that has come up short. Prior to these reports the United States was reporting an average of 204,000 jobs added month over month from August to November 2013.

Revisions Create Optimism

The January report also shows revisions to the November and December numbers released. An additional 1,000 jobs were added to December 2013, and 33,000 were added to November 2013. This makes the total number of jobs added in November 2013 a pleasing 274,000, the highest total since January 2012. These revisions are proof that despite a few roadblocks, the economy is growing.

Foggy Job Economy Forecast Ahead

Many blame harsh temperatures for the recent decrease in employment numbers. However, the BLS has stated that, “In order for severe weather conditions to reduce the estimate of payroll employment, employees have to be off work without pay for the entire pay period.” Unfortunately, only future data will tell if this is truly the case.

The report also reported that the unemployment rate dropped marginally in January, sitting currently at 6.6 percent. This number is almost that of October 2008’s 6.5 percent unemployment rate. The past three months have shown a steadily declining jobless rate, with each month dropping by 0.6 percent.

Professional and Business Services Industry Continues to Grow

 The Professional and Business Services sector remains strong, adding 36,000 new jobs in January. Within the industry, the professional and technical services field alone added 20,000 new jobs. Additionally, the accounting field added 5,000 jobs, legal added 2,000, architecture and engineering increased by 4,800 jobs, and IT/technical showed a positive gain of 5,300 jobs. In 2013, an average of 55,000 jobs were added each month.

The total number of legal jobs is now 1,137,200 — about 7,000 more than there were in January 2013 and the most since 2009. The 10-year high of 1,180,000 was set in May 2007.

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