As of last month, the national unemployment rate rose to 3.9 percent. Typically, a rise in unemployment doesn’t really mean good things for the economy or jobs. However, we recently came across an interesting article that put forth sound logic as to why a spike in unemployment is a positive thing for persons looking for a new job. Let’s succinctly break everything down for our legal professionals looking for their next big employment opportunity.
Unemployment on the Rise, but…
December’s jobs report told us that the unemployment rate was 3.9 percent. This was an increase from 3.7 percent for November. Although there was a 0.2 percent increase in unemployment, life is good?
Actually yes. As CNBC reported, the unemployment rate rose for the right reasons. These reasons include the facts that:
- 419,000 new workers entered the workforce in December; and,
- The labor force participation rate rose to 63.1 percent.
This all means that the unemployment rate bumped up not because employers weren’t hiring, but because the economy experienced an up-swing in people looking for new jobs. The fact that more people are now looking for employment is a sign that more people have good reason to think that jobs are available (i.e., businesses (including law firms are corporate legal departments) are hiring).
Reason for Hope
As stated above, the current labor force participation rate is 63.1 percent. This means, in a nut-shell, that 63.1 percent of all persons in the United States are either employed or actively seeking a job. While moderately high, the U.S. has seen higher rates – namely around the year 2000 mark with a rate of 67.3 percent.
But, a rate of 63.1 percent is still a good number. Plus, the rate is moving up – which is a good thing. In addition, the month of December created 312,000 new jobs, which was far more than the 176,000 new jobs predicted by economists.
According to Paul Ashworth, chief U.S. economist at Capital Economics, the December’s employment numbers “would seem to make a mockery of market fears of an impending recession.” He goes on to say that, the numbers “suggest the U.S. economy still has considerable forward momentum.”
Jim Baird, chief investment officer for Plante Moran Financial Advisors, also relayed positive news to CNBC. In particular, Baird stated that, “the economy has been slowing, but someone forgot to tell the labor markets.” He continued, “employers, it would seem, didn’t get the memo from Mr. Market that it’s time to tighten their belts.”
Please note that the above employment and economic related numbers apply to U.S. job industries as a whole. This means they are not solely related to the legal industry. Nevertheless, they should not be discounted if you are a job seeking lawyer, paralegal, or a legal administrator. A growth in the U.S. economy or positive news as to employment affects us all – legal professionals and non-legal professionals alike.
Also note that LAW DAWGS is here to help our candidates. Granted, we can report on hiring statistics and trends, but we can also inform on new job opportunities that are ready for you to fill. Simply contact us and let us guide your way.