(Fotolia)

Legal employment dipped by 1,200 jobs in April, effectively wiping out the previous month’s gains, according to seasonally adjusted preliminary data released Friday by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Along with the estimated April figures, Friday’s BLS report also included revised jobs data for March that showed that the industry added 1,200 positions that month before dropping the same amount in April. In total, legal employment has improved by 1,300 jobs since the start of 2014.

The legal sector currently employs 1.136 million people, 700 more than it did at the same point last year.

The news was sunnier for the broader economy, which added 288,000 jobs in April, according to the same preliminary BLS data. That jump pushed the unemployment rate downward to 6.3 percent from 6.7 percent, its lowest point since September 2008 and the start of the financial crisis. Still, enthusiasm for the increase in hiring was dampened by news that 806,000 people dropped out of the U.S. labor force in April.