According to statistical analysis conducted by Legal Practice Intelligence, the job market sucks.

It sucks for everyone in the country looking for a job and it doubly sucks if you are a lawyer looking for a job.

Unexpectedly, it is no worse in Victoria for lawyers than it is in NSW.

The headline, seasonally adjusted number of jobs advertised on the internet in August 2020 is 19.5% fewer than in August 2019. This is for all occupations covering the entire country. The unadjusted numbers show a decline of 24%.

It has been the pattern over the years that the demand for professional services staff has been less volatile than the demand for all occupations. This has now changed. The Australia-wide unadjusted decline in job ads for solicitors is negative 41%.

You would expect the situation in Victoria to be a lot worse than in NSW but it isn’t. It is a lot worse for all occupations but for solicitors it is almost identical between the two states. For reasons unknown, the demand for legal services seems to be much more effected by national factors than state-based factors such as lockdowns.

It is not all bad news. The 41% decline in August 2020 (solicitor ads compared to 12 months ago) was a lot better than the low point 66% decline in June 2020. Similarly, the 24% national all-occupations decline in August 2020 was better than the 47% low point shared across May and June 2020.