There is good news for Oregon’s job market, with all employment statistics showing continued positive movement. While Oregon is still recovering from the 11%+ unemployment rate that occurred in 2009-10, the state is getting close to pre-recession levels.
Oregon unemployment rate is down from 7.7% in July 2013 to 7% in July 2014 according to the Oregon Employment Department (OED). The OED’s projections also predict that Oregon will have a 15% increase in employment over the next 10 years by adding over 257,000 new jobs. Construction, professional and business services, and healthcare are all anticipated to grow by over 20%. And, along with this growth, there is expected to be a 15% increase in jobs across the legal professions, with lawyers, paralegals, mediators, and arbitrators leading the charge.
Moreover, the United States Department of Labor reports have shown a steady decrease in the amount of Americans filing for unemployment benefits. While this can be attributed to several factors, fewer applications can be indicative that more employers are holding onto their employees. The statistics are especially promising when combined with the fact that unemployment is on a downward trend across the nation.
So what does this mean to law students? With projected law jobs in upcoming years on the rise, and the number of students enrolling in law schools currently very low, opportunity is on the horizon. The effects of this might not become obvious for another few years, but so long as there are laws, people are going to need lawyers. And more jobs across a wide variety of industries will lead to a high demand for members of the legal profession.