Vacancies across the legal sector fell in November, reporting the lowest volumes of the year following reports from PwC of a fall in billable hours across the sector. That’s according to new research from the Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo).
The data – provided by the world’s largest network of job boards, Broadbean Technology – revealed that permanent jobs were down 31% year-on-year in November while contract also dipped 22% over the same period.
While this is largely in response to the reduction in billable hours, the statistics suggest that the current climate is also causing more professionals to remain in post rather than seek other opportunities. Permanent applications more than halved in November, falling by 58% month-on-month – by far the most pronounced fall of the last year.
Ann Swain, Global CEO of APSCo, commented:
“We’re seeing a decline in legal hiring which coincides with the reports from PwC that the sector has seen a fall in billable hours and M&A activity. While this may have driven a slowdown in recruitment, it is the application numbers that are of significant importance. The data suggests that more legal professionals are choosing to stay put in the current climate which could have longer-term implications. There’s a healthy level of staff turnover rates that businesses expect, but with fewer people moving jobs, the legal sector will be facing a much tighter labour market next year.”