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Legal Sector Adds Jobs: Let’s Not Lick Each Other’s Popsicles Just Yet

This morning, you might have heard the great news that the legal sector added jobs in May. Jobs, yay, woohoo! It sounds like great news, until you look at how tepid the jobs bump was in May. Am Law Daily reports:

The legal sector gained 300 jobs in May after experiencing losses in the hundreds during the previous month, according to the latest employment report released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. However, the industry has still lost 400 jobs since March, and a total of 22,200 legal jobs have disappeared since May 2009.

It’s been a while since my mathlete heyday, but couldn’t you write this story as: “Legal sector loses 100 jobs since March.” Or you could say: “Legal sector loses 19,900 jobs over the past year.”

And we don’t even know if these 300 jobs are “good” jobs…

The really sad thing is that May’s “strong” job numbers are an anomaly. The WSJ Law Blog reports:

Even during the so-called recovery, the legal industry has been shedding jobs.

April saw a loss of 1,100 jobs; March, February, and January saw losses of 500, 100 and 1,100, respectively.

So, the tally for this year is minus 2,500 legal jobs? Oooh, I’m so excited about May’s numbers that I can barely contain myself.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics don’t tell us what kind of jobs were “added” to the legal sector in May. Adding a few hundred $50,000-a-year, ambulance-chasing jobs would make the numbers look even less impressive.

But here’s the real question: why does the legal economy suck even worse than the American economy in general? Was the legal industry really that bloated before the recession?

In any event, let’s hope June continues this jobs surge.

Legal Sector Sees Jobs Bump in May [Am Law Daily]
Happy Days Here Again? Legal Sector, Yes, Adds Jobs in May [WSJ Law Blog]
Law Jobs Still Lacking: Legal Sector Lost 22,200 in a Year, But Added 300 Last Month [ABA Journal]

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