Before You Start Saying Your State Is Better Than Mississippi…

[UPDATE: The Mississippi Department of Employment Security updated its Web site. The results are discussed here.]

Okay, the cat’s out of the bag regarding Mississippi’s low annual lawyer job openings rate between 2010 and 2020. I didn’t think it was implausible, just figured that the state was doing really badly because of the depression. But looking at the numbers, there might be a problem.

Jobs in 2010 Jobs in 2020 Annual Growth
3,770 4,109 30

If you look carefully, the net number of jobs created in Mississippi is greater than ten times the annual job openings rate. 4,109 – 3,770 = 339, but 10 x 30 = 300. This means that Mississippi is creating negative four jobs per year in terms of replacing attorneys. This wouldn’t be a problem if Mississippi were projecting a decline in the number of lawyers by 2020, but it’s projecting 9.0 percent growth.

Although, CareerOneStop rounds its job projections to a multiple of ten, so it might be that 30 jobs per year is correct, but that would still mean that all of Mississippi’s jobs will be created through growth and none by replacement, which warrants skepticism. Possibly, the correct number of job openings per year is 130, which would be consistent with the 2008 to 2018 period’s estimate (150). I tried contacting CareerOneStop to see if a mistake had been made, but I’m not sure if my messages went through. Until I get a response, the numbers are suspect but not quite enough for a footnote, much less a correction.

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2 Responses

  1. Thanks for posting – that was my conclusion yesterday, too (tho I’m *in* Miss. and didn’t immediately think the number was wrong). It appears that Mississippi projects 165 lawyer jobs a year to 2018. Of course, our two law schools are graduating twice that many ….

    • Sometimes state governments post different numbers than CareerOneStop, which is where the 150 number came from. It’s not obviously wrong.

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