Legal employment had a rocky second quarter, despite generally strong US job growth, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data. Legal employment levels contracted by 5.1% in Q2, from 1.89 million to 1.79 million, while the overall job market enjoyed its 18th straight month of expansion.

For the first time in the pandemic era, BLS reported quarterly employment losses in three major legal employment job classifications: From Q1 to Q2, lawyer employment contracted from 1.15 million to 1.07 million; paralegal employment dipped slightly from 452,000 to 449,000; and legal support employment shrunk from 88,000 to 65,000.

Legal employment for both men and women also fell in the second quarter from a quarterly average of 908,000 in Q1 to 840,000 in Q2 for menand from 984,000 in Q1 to 955,000 in Q2 for women.

The dip in employment numbers represent a trend reversal from the past three quarters,

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