Latest US jobs report shows legal sector growth in May

  • The sector totaled 1,178,800 jobs last month
  • Jobs numbers are closely watched as experts predict trouble ahead for the US economy

(Reuters) – The legal services sector added 600 jobs in May, new data from the Labor Department showed, as overall employment in the United States rose more than expected last month.

Jobs in the legal sector totaled 1,178,800 in May, according to seasonally adjusted preliminary data released Friday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Jobs in the sector had recovered in April after two months of slight declines, following what has been largely a monthly growth trend since May 2020. The number of jobs includes lawyers, paralegals and other professionals in the right.

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The overall number of jobs in the United States is under intense scrutiny, with some economists and executives offering worrisome economic forecasts amid rising inflation.

Reuters reported on Friday that Tesla CEO Elon Musk said in a message to executives this week that he had a “super bad feeling” about the economy and planned to cut about 10% of staff from the company. company.

But nonfarm payrolls beat expectations in May, increasing by 390,000 jobs, and the unemployment rate held steady at 3.6%, according to the Labor Department.

The May total is approaching the all-time high of 1,179,500 legal sector jobs reached in May 2007, shortly before the Great Recession, which led to widespread layoffs in the industry.

“Historically, legal jobs and the economy as a whole, but I’m not sure that will be the case this time around,” said John Cashman, president of legal recruitment firm Major, Lindsey & Africa. He cited factors such as a shortage of legal talent and regulatory changes boosting legal work.

“Having said that, no one is completely immune to the pressures of the recession. If they do come, there will be an impact,” Cashman said.

An increase in the number of corporate contracts in 2020 and 2021 kept law firms busy and boosted recruitment. Large firms have increased partner compensation and implemented other benefits to attract and retain lawyers.

In the first five months of 2022, law firm jobs are opening and being filled at about the same rate, said Phil Flora, vice president of sales and marketing at Leopard Solutions, which tracks the hiring law firms.

Leopard had a record 12,000 legal openings in January and has seen the number remain relatively stable since then, Flora said.

Read more:

US Job Growth Exceeds Expectations; unemployment rate stable at 3.6%

Legal jobs in the United States increased in April, approaching the sector’s all-time high

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Sara Merken

Thomson Reuters

Sara Merken reports on privacy and data security, as well as legal affairs, including legal innovation and key players in the legal services industry. Contact her at [email protected]

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