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BLS Stats Show Decrease in Legal Sector Employment
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Though the last few months have seen strong gains in legal industry employment, May saw significant losses in line with the first months of 2013, suggesting that most American law firms are still on the road to recovery, with no sense of when they may finally arrive.

The legal sector lost 500 positions in May. That’s the devastating news that comes from the release of U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, which released their seasonally adjusted employment data on Friday. While the BLS’s report on May did bring some overall good news for the U.S. economy, including an increase of payroll employment by 175,000, their legal industry data was not as positive for attorneys, paralegals, and other legal industry professionals.

  
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The fact that 500 legal jobs were lost in May is particularly devastating for the legal sector, as the beginning of 2013 saw a substantial amount of growth. The AM Law Daily reports that projections suggested that the legal industry added 2,100 jobs in April (an estimate that was downgraded to just 1,600 in Friday’s report), and March saw the addition of 3,100 jobs. April and March’s growth was more than enough to make up for losses to the tune of 2,900 legal industry jobs in January and February. While May’s losses are significant, the legal sector is still employing more people now than it was in May 2012, indicating an overall growth of about 8,300.

Despite positive growth in a number of job sectors in the United States, the unemployment rate increased very slightly by .1%. Employment rose overall in professional and business services, food services and drinking places, and retail trade.

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