(Fotolia)

The legal industry shed 300 jobs in February, according to preliminary data released Friday by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The slight downturn on the employment front came a month after the industry added 1,500 positions, according to the revised, seasonally adjusted hiring figures for January that were included in Friday’s BLS report. The revised hiring data also showed the legal sector losing 500 jobs in December and 1,500 positions in November.

Based on Friday’s data, the legal sector now employs 1.136 million people—6,400 more than it did at the same point last year.

The broader economy, meanwhile, added 175,000 jobs last month—a figure that outpaced most economists’ expectations after a total of just 213,000 positions were added during December and January. Despite the uptick in hiring, the nation’s unemployment rate rose slightly, from 6.6 percent to 6.7 percent.