Legal Jobs Report: February 2015

The unemployment rate held steady at 5.7 percent, and hasn’t seen a net change since its decrease in October.

In January, the number of unemployed individuals was at 9 million, which is relatively unchanged from the previous month.  The number of people who are considered long-term unemployed  – this is defined as those without a job for 27 weeks or more – also remains steady at 2.8 million people. This number accounted for 31.5 % of the total unemployed. However, this number has decreased significantly over the past year by 828,000.

Legal Jobs Report for February 2015 - Chart Showing 257,000 New Jobs Added in January

The number of individuals employed in the legal sector decreased to 1,118,200 in January, a drop of 1,400 from December. January of 2015 saw a 4,500 decrease YOY in the total employment in the legal industry from January 2014.

As measured by the household survey, total employment increased in January by 435,000 and the employment-population ratio remained steady at 59.3 percent. The labor force participation rate also rose to 62.9, an increase of 0.2 percentage points.

Among other areas that saw gains were retail trade and manufacturing. Over the past year, financial activities overall added 159,000 jobs and employment in that area continues to increase. Additional areas that added to the gain include commodity contracts and securities with an increase of of 14,000, and investments with an increase of 5,000.

With an increase of 39,000, employment in professional and business services continued to trend upward in January.

In 2014, monthly gains in the industry were at an average 59,000. Over the past month, professional and technical services contributed to the major portion of growth with an increase of 33,000 jobs. In January, computer systems design, engineering and architectural services, and other related services added 8,000 jobs. Management and technical consulting employment continued to make gains with 4,000 new jobs.

Information overall added 47000 new jobs over the last 12 months, and within information, employment increased by 3000 in data processing and hosting and related services. Other information service areas saw an increase of 4000. 

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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