Legal hiring rebounded slightly last month after suffering a major drop-off in January, with the industry adding 200 jobs, according to seasonally adjusted preliminary employment data released Friday by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The initial estimate of February’s modest gains comes a month after the BLS reported that the legal industry had shed 2,400 positions in January. The positive news contained in Friday’s report was, however, offset by a revision to the preliminary January figures that pushed that month’s estimated job losses up to 3,500. (Friday’s report showed the agency’s December estimate holding steady at 1,900 jobs gained for the month.)
Factoring in Friday’s hiring estimates, the legal sector now employs 5,000 more people than it did at this point last year and roughly 1.125 million people overall—about 50,000 fewer than it did at its prerecession peak in 2007.
Overall, the U.S. economy added a better-than-expected 236,000 jobs in February, according to The New York Times. The uptick dropped the unemployment rate to 7.7 percent, the lowest it’s been since December 2008.