The legal sector rebounded from some of its recent employment woes last month by adding 3,900 jobs, according to preliminary data released Friday by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Revised data released by the bureau at the same time showed that those gains came on the heels of the legal sector losing 1,700 jobs in March—400 more than originally estimated. Factoring in last month’s increase, the legal sector’s total number currently stands at 1,120,900—the industry’s highest total since June 2009 and 6,900 jobs ahead of last year’s total through April. While such figures may inspire optimism within the legal industry, they remain below the industry’s prerecession employment highs. In April 2008 the sector employed an estimated 1,166,000—roughly 45,000 more than it does now.
The broader U.S. economy also saw added jobs in April, according to Friday’s labor bureau report, though The New York Times reports that the 115,000 positions added fall short of economists’ predictions for the month. The increase, which followed the addition of 154,000 jobs in March, brought the nation’s unemployment rate to 8.1 percent from 8.2 percent the previous month.
The Times notes that job growth over the past two months has been disappointing because the relatively small gains are mostly due to large numbers of workers abandoning the labor force. The bureau’s statistics do not reflect unemployed people who have given up on actively seeking work.