According to the most recent Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) report and a September 7 Claire Zillman article, the roller coaster ride continues in terms of legal sector employment. Legal employers added 1,500 jobs in July, but shortly thereafter cut 1,400 in August. July’s gains had led the sector to a 3-year high of 1.12 million lawyers, the highest mark since averaging 1.17 million prior to the financial meltdown of 2008.
Yet the overall gains for the 2-month period are encouraging as it continues an overall upward trend. Even with August’s loss of 1,400 jobs, the sector as a whole is up 3,200 jobs as compared to this time last year, and up 1,400 since the start of 2012. We are also seeing what has become a relatively consistent seesaw effect from month-to-month in terms of jobs added and lost. According to Zillman, “the sector has whipsawed between adding and losing jobs nearly every month this year,” as April and May added 3,200 and 300, respectively—the only period of 2-month uninterrupted growth thus far in 2012.