Legal jobs were on the upswing earlier this year, reaching a new high in June with more than 33,000 available positions being advertised online. However, since then, demand has dropped significantly. In fact, September was first time in 6 months that demand has slipped below pre-recession hiring levels. Despite this drop, the number of job listings was still up 17% from September 2011, 15% versus 2010, and about 35% from three years ago.
Hiring Demand for Legal Occupations – 4 Year Hiring Trend
Lawyers are the most in-demand legal occupation, with more than 15,000 job ads available online during September. The number of jobs for Lawyers has grown 6% compared to September 2011. Paralegals and Legal Assistants follow with just under 11,000 jobs advertised, at a 33% year-over-year increase. Title Examiners, Law Clerks, and Court Reporters round out the 5 most in-demand legal occupations in September.
The locations with the most job ads during September were:
- New York, NY
- Los Angeles, CA
- Washington, DC
- Chicago, IL
- San Francisco, CA
All 5 of these locations saw double-digit year-over-year growth in hiring demand. Chicago actually saw the highest growth of the above cities, with 55% more job ads in September 2012 than they had available in September 2011. San Francisco was a close second, with 51% growth.
So, with demand up (compared to last year), will these jobs take longer to fill and be harder to source candidates? Our average posting period shows that job ads for legal occupations remain online for an average of 39 days across the US – or about 5.5 weeks. However, this is an average. Each location will experience varying levels of difficulty and a longer (or shorter) duration of posting. Some of the metro areas with the longest average posting periods are Erie (Pennsylvania), Kileen-Fort Hood (Texas), and Binghamton (NY). The average duration of a job ad in Erie over the past 12 days is more than 100 days – or about 14.5 weeks. Below is a heat map of average posting periods for legal occupations, with darker areas showing a longer duration and lighter locations representing shorter posting length. How does your city compare to the rest of the US?
Average Posting Periods for Legal Job Ads in US Metropolitan Areas
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