Law Shucks

Posts by Law Shucks

Law Shucks layoffs layoff tracker.jpg[Ed. note: Above the Law has teamed up with Law Shucks. Law Shucks has done excellent work translating all of the layoff news into user-friendly charts and graphs: the Layoff Tracker.]

This is getting ridiculous.

Every week we come closer and closer to the promised land: a week without layoffs. But still no dice.

This time, it’s a regional Alabama firm, Bradley Arant (#178 on the AmLaw 200), that went and ruined things for everyone. The streak of 31 straight weeks with a layoff by a law firm continues (it would be longer than that if not for the Christmas holiday).

At least the legal sector is no worse than the rest of the economy. This downturn is now officially the worst since the Great Depression.

Every significant firm, other than the above-mentioned party pooper, had the decency to avoid layoffs during the last week of most summer programs and bar-exam week. There were a few close calls and the other cost-cutting measures did continue, though. We detail them, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “This Week in Layoffs: 08.01.09″

Law Shucks layoffs layoff tracker.jpg[Ed. note: Above the Law has teamed up with Law Shucks. Law Shucks has done excellent work translating all of the layoff news into user-friendly charts and graphs: the Layoff Tracker.]

We may not have seen the worst yet, the last few weeks’ progress in the American economy has turned slightly for the worse this week.

Applications rose by 30,000 to 554,000 in the week ended July 18, in line with forecasts, figures from the Labor Department showed today in Washington. Claims had fallen by 93,000 over the previous two weeks. The number of people collecting unemployment insurance decreased to the lowest level in three months, also reflecting seasonal issues surrounding closures at carmakers.

To add insult to injury, first-time filers’ checks are being held up by an overburdened system, and the coffers are running dry.

Could be worse – Spain’s unemployment rate is just shy of 18%.

The constant layoffs without any expectation of hiring have had a continuing negative effect on consumer confidence. If we’re getting out of this recession, it won’t be consumer-spending driven. And it looks like there’s still some pain to come.

The economy has lost 6.5 million jobs since the recession began in December 2007 [the Law Shucks Law Firm Layoff Tracker counts lawyer layoffs from January 2008]. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg predict the unemployment rate may reach 10 percent by year-end from 9.5 percent in June, the highest level since 1983.

Slower layoff rate, more yet to come? Sounds just like the law-firm industry.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “This Week in Layoffs: 07.25.09″

Law Shucks layoffs layoff tracker.jpg[Ed. note: Above the Law has teamed up with Law Shucks. Law Shucks has done excellent work translating all of the layoff news into user-friendly charts and graphs: the Layoff Tracker.]

Fortunately, this week’s law-firm layoffs didn’t follow last week’s surprise return to March form. In fact, there were fewer layoffs this week than any other this year.

While this is a nice reprieve, unemployment continues to rise, despite some indicators of stabilization in housing and manufacturing. Non-farm payroll fell by 467,000 last month, which was worse than estimates, and unemployment hit 9.5% – the worst in 26 years but still not at the peak levels Obama predicts (10%+).

Closer to home (geographically, for most of us, and metaphorically for those of us whose fortunes rise and fall with the financial services industry), the financial sector "continues to bleed jobs." Unemployment in NYC reached 9.5% in June, the highest level since 1997.

As if all that wasn’t bad enough, Mort Zuckerman wrote an op-ed in the WSJ, saying it’s even worse than we realize:

The Bureau of Labor Statistics preliminary estimate for job losses for June is 467,000, which means 7.2 million people have lost their jobs since the start of the recession. The cumulative job losses over the last six months have been greater than for any other half year period since World War II, including the military demobilization after the war. The job losses are also now equal to the net job gains over the previous nine years, making this the only recession since the Great Depression to wipe out all job growth from the previous expansion.

After the jump, we sift through this week’s activity in our little slice of heaven.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “This Week in Layoffs: 07.18.09″

Law Shucks layoffs layoff tracker.jpg[Ed. note: Above the Law has teamed up with Law Shucks. Law Shucks has done excellent work translating all of the layoff news into user-friendly charts and graphs: the Layoff Tracker.]

Where did that come from? The big news for the week is obviously DLA Piper blasting us back to mid-March form, with the biggest layoff since, actually, completion of its own UK redundancy consultation in May.

More on that later. But first, we’ll take our traditional quick look at the broader economic activity.

The numbers were actually surprisingly good this week, with initial jobless claims down to the lowest levels since January. In fact, the numbers are probably significantly worse than that indicates; early plant closing masks some serious seasonal adjustments that are skewing the numbers. And, of course, overall unemployment was up again, to 1983 levels, as new jobs just aren’t being created yet.

In fact, overall unemployment is getting to record levels. According to Calculated Risk, “the current recession is now the 2nd worst recession since WWII in percentage terms – and also in terms of the unemployment rate (only early ’80s recession was worse).”

calcriskchart

As we learned from DLA Piper, layoffs at law firms are still on the table. Details after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “This Week In Layoffs: 07.11.09″

Law Shucks layoffs layoff tracker.jpg[Ed. note: Above the Law has teamed up with Law Shucks. Law Shucks has done excellent work translating all of the layoff news into user-friendly charts and graphs: the Layoff Tracker.]

We’re not doing This Week in Layoffs this week, as it was a triple witching day – end of week, end of month and end of quarter (not to mention holiday weekend). Instead, we’ve put together an extensive mid-year review of law-firm layoffs so far.

All told, 125 major law firms have announced or had confirmed layoffs. The combined total is 10,723 people, 4,015 of which are attorneys and the balance, 6,708, are staff.

After the jump, we go into excruciating detail, complete with charts.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “This Week in Layoffs: Mid-Year Layoff Review”

Law Shucks layoffs layoff tracker.jpg[Ed. note: Above the Law has teamed up with Law Shucks. Law Shucks has done excellent work translating all of the layoff news into user-friendly charts and graphs: the Layoff Tracker.]

Forgive us for sounding like a broken record. There are only so many ways to say the same thing about US unemployment: the rate of new filings has slowed down, but overall unemployment continues to rise. Unfortunately, it looks like last week’s brief drop was just a blip in an otherwise unbroken trend of worsening data.

That pretty much mirrors the trend at law firms – fewer layoffs but still no hiring (with one exception).

More detail, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “This Week in Layoffs: 06.29.09″

Law Shucks layoffs layoff tracker.jpg[Ed. note: Above the Law has teamed up with Law Shucks. Law Shucks has done excellent work translating all of the layoff news into user-friendly charts and graphs: the Layoff Tracker.]

Let’s all move to Nebraska! In a week in which unemployment was up in 48 out of 50 states (plus DC), Nebraska’s unemployment dropped by 0.1%, keeping it tied with North Dakota for the lowest in the nation at 4.4% (tie goes to the state with the Championship Subdivision (formerly D-I) football program).

At the other end of the spectrum, the state with the finest football program in the nation has the highest unemployment rate: Michigan at 14.1% (Go Blue!).

Closer to home, New York’s unemployment has hit 9%, the highest rate in more than a decade due to continuing deep cuts in the financial-services industry that spins off so much legal work.

After the jump, we detail the effects that has had on law firms this week.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “This Week In Layoffs: 06.22.09″

Law Shucks layoffs layoff tracker.jpg[Ed. note: Above the Law has teamed up with Law Shucks. Law Shucks has done excellent work translating all of the layoff news into user-friendly charts and graphs: the Layoff Tracker.]
That’s it? We’re looking for that one perfect week of no layoffs and we lose it to a Tennessee firm and two UK firms? So much for midsize firms being a safe harbor. The dream of a week without layoffs lives on. Instead, we’ll catch up on the regular activity. The trend of initial jobless claims declining continues, with new applications down to January levels. Same old song and dance, though, as total unemployment continues to climb, setting a record for the 19th straight week.

Businesses are slowing staff reductions as signs emerge that the worst recession in at least five decades may end in the second half of 2009. Still, economists in a Bloomberg News survey predicted the unemployment rate will climb to 10 percent by year-end and restrain consumer spending, muting any recovery.

That’s pretty much in line with the trend in the law-firm sector, although we might have our first green shoots. After the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “This Week in Layoffs: 06.13.09″

Law Shucks layoffs layoff tracker.jpg[Ed. note: Above the Law has teamed up with Law Shucks. Law Shucks has done excellent work translating all of the layoff news into user-friendly charts and graphs: the Layoff Tracker.]

In perhaps an overabundance of exuberance for even the faintest glimmer of good news, media are celebrating the May unemployment report. The 345,000 jobs lost for the month was half the average monthly decline for the preceding six months (and far better than expected), although unemployment was up to 9.4%. Much of the early giddiness ignored that second part, so despite some volatility, the markets ended the day basically flat. According to the report,

Job losses in professional and business services moderated in May, with the industry shedding 51,000 jobs. This compares with an average loss of 136,000 jobs per month in the prior 6 months.

More specifically, in the legal sector, just 1,300 jobs were lost in the month – from 1.141 million in the sector in April to 1.1397 in May.

We’ve chartified the trend for the visual learners, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “This Week in Layoffs: 06.06.09″

Law Shucks layoffs layoff tracker.jpg[Ed. note: Above the Law has teamed up with Law Shucks. Law Shucks has done excellent work translating all of the layoff news into user-friendly charts and graphs: the Layoff Tracker.]

Alright, this is getting ridiculous. Last week, no real layoffs until Ropes & Gray got busted doing stealth layoffs at 11:00 on Friday morning. This column closes Friday afternoon, usually. We actually submitted yet another version celebrating the first week of the year without layoffs. Then Weil Gotshal went and laid off 79 staff. We’ll have to save the celebration for next week (hopefully – although we’re planning to be on the golf course, not writing).

So back to the usual roundup.

As in the general US market, the rate of law-firm layoffs (or first-time benefit applications) continues to drop, even though unemployment numbers continue to rise. So most of the cutting may be behind us, even if the growth and hiring haven’t kicked in yet. Still, this recession is far and away the worst of the past 40 years, from a jobs perspective. Check out Clusterstock for interesting chart that shows employment levels are continuing to decline 15 months after the current recession began, a point by which the 1980 recession had completely reversed its losses, 1974-76 was almost back to pre-recession levels, and the others had at least flattened out if not started trending upwards. Elie will continue to monitor Latvian hookers for signs of life. In the economy.

After the jump, there were a few other near-layoffs this week and the usual non-layoff cost-cutting measures.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “This Week In Layoffs: 05.30.09″

Page 6 of 20771...2345678910...2077