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Latest research has shown the number of people applying for roles within the legal sector has seen a dramatic decline.

According to the report, applications have more than halved within the space of a month, which will leave many employers within the sector having to deal with a concerning growth in skills gaps.

The findings, complied by the Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo) using data provided by Veritone Hire, revealed that those applying for permanent legal roles fell 60% between April and May 2024. For contract roles, this figure was similar at 58%.

Vacancies have also declined, but this slowdown was far less noticeable than applications.

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Explaining that these findings are concerning, Ann Swain, Global CEO at APSCo, said, “The fall in job applications being noted across the legal sector is certainly of concern. With the UK economy in a state of limbo as uncertainty over interest rates continues, the drop in new job postings is to be expected.

“However, the decline in the number of applications is falling at a far greater – and rather alarming – rate. Businesses are going to face a real battle for the best professionals when the economy picks up once again.”

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