Is it possible that the legal job market is finally getting better?
That’s the suggestion from Thursday’s unemployment report from the Labor Department.
While 62,000 non-farm payroll jobs disappeared nationally in June throughout the country, the legal service sector added jobs. After suffering three months of job losses, the legal industry saw employment nudge up ever so slightly with an addition of 300 people, a 0.3 percent increase.
It’s not a huge climb, to be sure, and jobs are still down from where they were in 2007. Layoffs have not stopped either. Patton Boggs last week confirmed it cut nine associates.
But for associates and legal staffers worried about their jobs, the news could provide some relief.
Nationally, the unemployment rate held steady at 5.5 percent, The New York Times reports.
In total, 1.17 million people, or less than 1 percent of the overall U.S. job market, call themselves legal service employees. They include: lawyers, paralegals, librarians and secretaries.
Overall, jobs are down by 6,200 in the legal services sector since a year ago and by 1,600 from six months ago, according to the Labor Department.
The statistics are seasonally adjusted. When not adjusted, the department reports 7,700 jobs cut during the last 12 months, and a gain of 19,500 jobs in June from a month earlier. Summer associates likely explain that bump.
The last time so few people were employed in legal services was in January 2006.