Monday, April 9, 2012

Legal sector loses 1300 jobs in March

According to the most recent report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics which warns that the number of law school graduates is expected to continue to outpace the available jobs in the legal sector.  As reported by the AmLaw Daily:

After gaining jobs for two straight months, the legal sector lost 1,300 positions in March, according to preliminary data released Friday by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Friday's report recorded 1,116,400 legal sector positions last month, down from the 18-month high the industry hit in February. The bureau's revised data also showed that the legal sector gained 1,900 jobs in January rather than the 1,000 originally estimated.

The latest figures aside, the legal industry continues to employ far fewer people than it did prior to the recession, when it was common for the bureau to record 1,180,000 legal employees in a given month.

. . . .

Friday's report is the second dose of bad employment news for the legal sector in recent days.

In a March 29 report examining the job outlook for the industry, the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicted that the number of lawyers practicing in the country will grow 10 percent between 2010 and 2020—from 728,000 to 801,800.

At the same time, the report said, "growth in demand for lawyers will be constrained as businesses increasingly use large accounting firms and paralegals to do some of the same tasks that lawyers do." The report estimated that overall legal sector employment will increase 11 percent by 2020, and that paralegal and legal assistant jobs will surge 18 percent.

The report, which the ABA Journal reported on Thursday, cautions that the number of law school graduates continues to outpace the anticipated growth in jobs. The most recently available data from the American Bar Association pegs the number of law school grads for 2010 at 44,000.

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