Washington Post: "This year, for the ninth consecutive time, the number of registered lobbyists in Washington has fallen. The figure has dropped nearly 30 percent from about 14,800 in 2007 to 10,500 today, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, which tracks lobbying activity. But ask virtually any member of Washington’s booming influence industry and they will tell you: there aren’t fewer lobbyists, there are just fewer people labeling themselves as such.
"Eschewing the lobbyist label in favor of more palatable designations — policy adviser, strategic counsel or government relations adviser are popular ones — is not new. But it appears to have grown more prevalent during the two terms of President Obama, who put greater restrictions on lobbyists working in the executive branch than any other president."
"It is difficult to come up with an exact number of “unregistered” lobbyists. But many people who advise on lobbying strategy as part of their job — including some former prominent lawmakers who now work at lobby firms, or who lead trade groups that lobby Congress — are not required to register because they fall below the 20 percent threshold, creating the perception there are fewer lobbyists than there really are."