The number of professionals applying for jobs in the legal sector plummeted in February, sparking concerns that in an already skills short arena, employers will struggle to source talent in the coming months. That’s according to new research from the Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo), the trade association for the professional recruitment sector.
The data, provided by the world’s largest network of job boards, Broadbean Technology, revealed a noticeable drop in applications in the second half of 2022, which plummeted 49% between January and February 2023, suggesting that the talent woes of hirers are worsening. In comparison, job vacancies continue to climb, up 16% year-on-year. This data is indicative of the widening skills gaps in the sector and present a concern for firms already struggling to recruit.
The research also reveals that average salaries increased across the legal sector during the second half of last year, a reflection of the cost of living crisis, rising inflation and employers’ steps to attract and retain talent in a tight labour market. According to the statistics, average salaries rose by almost 11% and 13% respectively when comparing January and February in 2022 and 2023.
Ann Swain, CEO of APSCo comments:
“While our research is showing a level of upheaval in the jobs market – with vacancies reporting peaks and troughs over the last five months as concerns around the economy grew – the standout data is the fall in applications across the legal sector. February reported the second lowest number of applications over the last year, marking a 49% drop month-on-month. While vacancies also fell during this period, this was on a much smaller scale, down just 17%. This suggests that the skills gaps in the sector are widening at an alarming rate.”