215,000 Jobs Added in March

March’s job report numbers typically come in close to 45,000 lower than economists’ predictions, but this morning’s report was a bit of a surprise. Just over 200k jobs were expected to be added in the last month, but the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported 215,000 jobs were added. This could calm jittery investors and help reassure the Federal Reserve, which is currently weighing further interest rate hikes.

In February, the Fed had their eye on jobs additions, wages and the unemployment rate to aid in their decision to raise interest rates. This month’s report is much the same with these same numbers weighing heavily with the Fed and impacting their decision. Let’s take a look:

  • Wages:
    • $25.43 March
    • $23.35 February
      • + 7 cents month-over-month
      • +2.3% year-over-year
  • Unemployment:
    • 5.0% March
    • 4.9% February
      • +0.1% month-over-month
      • -0.5 year-over-year

In March, hourly wages rose $0.7 to $25.43 per hour, bringing the year-over-year wage percentage increase to 2.3%. The unemployment rate now sits at 5.0%. While this is up slightly (+0.1%) from last month, the rate has remained constant much like rates in 2008. So what does this mean for the Legal Industry? The numbers and analysis is below:

In-Depth Look: Legal Industry

So, what are we seeing, specifically, in the legal industry?

  • Legal Services
    • Month-over-month change: +1,200
    • Year-over-year change: +8,200
    • Previous Months:
      • February: -1,500
      • January: -1,100
      • December:+1,200
  • Professional and business services
      • Month-over-month change: +33,000
      • 606,000 jobs added since March of last yearProfessional and business services
        • February: +23,000
        • January: +9,000
        • December: +73,000

Right now the professional and technical services industry, which is the subsector that includes Legal Services has an unemployment rate of 2.5.%, a -0.2 drop from last month and still sitting well below the national average.

For companies hoping to hire legal and finance professionals, the market remains extremely competitive. You’ll want to establish yourself as a premier employer to beat out your competitors and hire the right professionals. Making sure to offer the right salary and benefits is the first step in establishing yourself in the marketplace. Our 2016 Salary Guide is the premier resource for insights on what to pay top legal professionals in your city. Request your free copy today!

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