Legal Industry Jobs Report: October 2014

Legal Industry Jobs Report: October 2014

Jobs report summary for the legal industry. Based on the BLS report with September 2014 data.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics revealed that in September, the U.S. workforce added 248,000 jobs, vastly exceeding the 215,000 jobs that economists were predicting. The surge of newly added jobs comes just in time from the disappointing August reported numbers.

The unemployment rate from fell from a 6.1% to a 5.9%, which is the first time in six years it has dropped below 6%. Within September’s reported numbers, the three largest areas of new jobs occurred in Professional and Business Services, Construction, and Healthcare. These three sectors are vital because they tend to emulate more long term or full time positions that form into careers, which can be beneficial to the average wage growth and unemployment rate.

One reported number still provides some discomfort; the labor participation rate. It slightly dropped from a 62.8% to a 62.7%. While September’s reported numbers reflect a positive correlation with growth, the labor participation rate needs to substantially increase to reproduce trending job growth within the U.S. workforce.

Professional and Business Sector Flourish, Legal Services Decline

With 81,000 jobs added in September, the Professional and Business Sector continue its reign as one of the top sectors for growth within the U.S. workforce. As if the Professional and Business Sector wasn’t already flourishing, September’s reported numbers well outperformed its average monthly gain of 34,000 jobs within the past 12 months.

Surprisingly, Legal Services lost 4,600 jobs in September, a significant and disappointing decline from the 3,300 jobs added in August. One reason for this decline may be summer associates leaving law firms. While Legal Services numbers are dampening, we can only hope to see a recovery within Q4.

Temporary Help Services added 19,700 jobs in September, which could possibly reflect businesses hiring for the upcoming holidays and temporary positions corresponding with all schools returning to session.

Wages Somewhat Stagnant

With wages for the Professional and Business Sector increasing only $0.02 from August, this is one of the final pieces that require improvement for a strong U.S. economy. Adding more full time, career opportunities within the workforce will correlate with higher wages, as well as an increase in the labor participation rate. This in turn will surely give a boost to the economy.

For more detailed information on job growth and unemployment within your region, contact your local Special Counsel office.

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