Legal market

Legal services sector lost 300 jobs in October

Good news for the nation did not translate to good news for the legal sector on the employment front in October.

Though the U.S. economy added 151,000 jobs last month, the legal services field saw 300 disappear, according to the latest employment report released Friday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That drop comes after 2,200 jobs legal jobs were created the previous month, and it halts a positive streak of three straight months with employment gains in the field.

Originally, BLS reported a gain of 2,500 positions in the legal sector last month, but that number has since been adjusted down. Currently, the total number of jobs in the legal sector--just over 1.1 million--equals the number reported at this time last year.

The national outlook was much more optimistic, with a six-figure boost in employment following four straight months of losses. The increase, though, did nothing to chip away at the national unemployment rate, which remained steady at 9.6 percent. Private-sector employment went up by 159,000 jobs in October, with the retail industry adding 28,000 positions and food services creating 24,000 jobs.

The New York Times reported that President Obama, still recovering from the Republican success in this week's mid-term elections, called the report "encouraging news." The president also pledged to seek bi-partisan solutions to the still discouraging unemployment rate.

(Published by AM Law Daily - November 5, 2010)

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