Legal Jobs Report: December 2014

Total number of U.S. jobs grew by 321,000 in November, and unemployment rate remains unchanged at 5.8 percent, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

In November, the unemployment rate held constant at 5.8 percent, and the number of unemployed persons was little changed at 9.1 million. Over the year, the unemployment rate and the number of unemployed persons were down by 1.2 percentage points and 1.7 million, respectively. The number of long-term unemployed (individuals who were jobless for 27 weeks or more) was very little changed in November at 2.8 million. These individuals accounted for 30.7 percent of the unemployed. Over the past 12 months, the number of long-term unemployed has decreased by 1.2 million.

The civilian labor force participation rate remained steady at 62.8 percent in November, and has stayed essentially the same since April. The employment-population ratio, which is currently at 59.2 percent, did not change in November, but has increased by 0.6 percentage points over the course of the year.

In November, 2.1 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force, a number that is essentially unchanged from the previous year. (The data are not seasonally adjusted.) These individuals were not in the labor force, wanted work and were available for it, and had actively looked for a job sometime past 12 months. They were not counted as unemployed individuals because they had not searched for work in the 4 weeks before the survey.

Employment in professional and business services increased by 86,000 in November.
Throughout 2014, employment in professional and business services has grown by an average of 55,000 per month – both solid growth numbers for employment.

In November, the average workweek for all employees on private non-farm payrolls increased by 0.1 hour to 34.6 hours. The average workweek for production and nonsupervisory employees on private non-farm payrolls was unchanged at 33.8 hours. Average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls increased by 9 cents, to $24.66 in November. Over the course of the year, the average hourly earnings have risen by 2.1 percent. In November, average hourly earnings of private-sector production and nonsupervisory employees increased by 4 cents to $20.74. Some revisions were made to the total nonfarm payroll employment for September and October. September was changed from an increased 256,000 to 271,000, and the October was changed from an increase of 214,000 to 243,000. With these revisions, employment gains in September and October combined were in actually 44,000 more than previously reported.

Special Counsel releases monthly economic reports for employers in order to share important hiring and employment information. To learn more about the trends in the legal staffing market, contact a Special Counsel representative near you. Contact us today.

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