Legal Sector Adds 2,700 Jobs in August
For the second straight month, legal sector employment hit four-figure gains with 2,700 jobs added in August, according to seasonally adjusted preliminary data released Friday by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Friday's BLS report included a downward revision of July's employment gains, from 2,800 to 2,300. Regardless, the numbers represent a positive trend for the sector, which has now seen employment grow in both August and July after suffering major losses in each of the previous two months. The industry lost 2,100 jobs in May and another 2,200 positions in June, according to previous BLS reports.
Legal sector employment has increased by 6,300 positions since August 2012 and, with roughly 1.129 million people in total currently holding legal jobs, 2013 has seen the industry reach higher employment totals than it has at any point since 2009.
The overall U.S. economy experienced sluggish growth last month, adding just 169,000 positions—a number that dropped the unemployment rate from 7.4 percent to 7.3 percent. The New York Times called the jobs report "disappointing" and noted that the findings could affect whether or not the Federal Reserve moves forward with plans to pull back on stimulus efforts.
Despite the good news for legal employment over the last two months, September started off with a round of layoffs at Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman, where 35 staffers have been let go. (Hat tip: Above the Law).
Addressing these layoffs, Pillsbury chief operating officer Rick Donaldson issued the following statement: "Aligning our overall resources with the firm's current needs is a normal and continuing part of our business. Where possible, we make these adjustments through natural attrition and voluntary reduction, but despite these efforts, our staffing levels have remained elevated. As a result, effective September 4, the firm reduced the number of support staff and paraprofessional positions through a reduction in force."