Economic Indicators are Positive for Legal Profession

New research shows that 3% growth is on the way for law firms, layoffs are dwindling and the Index of Leading Indicators finds that the recession appears to be nearing an end. 

UPDATE: Housing prices increase. Houses have finally become cheap enough to lure buyers. That, in turn, is stabilizing prices, generating hope that the real estate market is beginning to recover. For the first time since early 2007, a composite index of 20 major cities was virtually flat, instead of down. “We’ve found the bottom,” said Mark Fleming, chief economist for First American CoreLogic, a data firm.

The release of the surprisingly strong Case-Shiller Price Index, compiled by Standard & Poor’s, followed earlier reports that sales of existing homes rose last month for the third consecutive time, while sales of new homes rose in June by the largest percentage in eight years.

An industry forecast by First Research Inc. shows that growth in the legal sector stabilizes in 2009 and turns into 3% growth in 2010. Legal Services Growth, law firm marketing





Layoffs slowing down

The torrent of law firm layoffs has slowed down according to  As of July 17, 2009 -- 11,265 people working in law firms have been laid off in 2009 (4,220 lawyers and 7,045 staff).  

Layoffs ramped up in January, February, and March, and then plummeted in the second quarter. The pace slowed (relatively speaking) in April and May, with more than 1,000 people laid off in each month. In June, layoffs slowed even further, likely the result of the arrival of summer associates and the run-up in the stock markets.

Recession’s end is near

Finally, the July 25, 2009 New York Times stated, “The American recession appears to be nearing an end.”

The index of leading indicators, which signals turning points in the economy, is rising at a rate that has accurately indicated the end of every recession since the index began to be compiled in 1959.

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