Predictions for the Legal Job Market: the News is Mixed

By Hillary Mantis

Growth in the legal job market for about the next decade is expected to be average, according to the new Bureau of Labor Occupational Outlook Report.  By “average,” they mean at an average pace for all occupations surveyed by the BLS.

“Employment of lawyers is expected to grow by ten percent from 2010 to 2020, about as fast as the average for all occupations,” according to the BLS Handbook.
Is this good news or bad news?   I guess it’s a little of both. At least it’s not predicted to be slower than average growth, looking at it from a positive point of view.  And the salaries included in the new Handbook indicated that the median annual wage of lawyers surveyed was $112,760 in 2010. Lawyers held approximately 728,200 jobs in 2010, according to the BLS report.

Unfortunately, the newly issued March numbers indicated that the legal job market suffered again in March, according to BLS. The legal market lost 1,300 jobs in March according to preliminary data. However, the overall economy is holding its own. The overall unemployment rate dropped again this month to a three year low of 8.2 percent, which is good news. The economy added 120,000 in March, the report indicated.

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