By Nate Raymond
Nov 2 (Reuters) - The U.S. legal services sector gained just
600 jobs in October, as the national employment rate overall
remained almost unchanged at 7.9 percent, the U.S. Bureau of
Labor Statistics said Friday.
The additional legal positions contributed to an overall
increase of 171,000 jobs last month, the bureau said. The last
time more people were employed in the legal sector was in July
2009, the bureau said.
The bureau also adjusted upward its preliminary estimates
for legal services jobs added in September to 1,300. It had
previously reported 1,000 new jobs that month.
The legal job growth came despite what analysts have said
are continued pressures on law firms from mounting expenses.
While revenues at law firms grew 3 percent through the second
quarter, general expenses climbed 6.5 percent, according to a
survey Wells Fargo Wealth Management released in September. More
recent data for the third quarter was not immediately available
The Federal Reserve's Beige Book on economic conditions,
released Oct. 10, described a mix of signs for the legal sector.
The Federal Reserve Bank in Richmond, Va. reported "modest
improvements" for demand in the legal sector in its district.
The Dallas Federal Reserve Bank said legal firms in its district
"noted increased hiring and said compensation has risen this
year," though it noted that "overall demand for services was not
much changed since the last report," which was in August. The
San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank called demand for legal
services in its district "steady."
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