The Bureau of Labor Statistics' monthly employment report for August was released early Friday and the news was still a bit glum overall -- the U.S. economy lost a total of 54,000 jobs. But the news for lawyers and legal industry employees was a bit brighter.
The legal sector handed out 1,000 jobs last month, marking the second straight month of improved numbers for the industry.
The BLS originally reported that the field lost 800 jobs in July, but that number has since been readjusted to show an increase of 300 positions. While those numbers lag behind reports from August 2009 by more than 14,000 jobs, they still represent an improvement over the previous two months. In June and May combined, legal services positions declined by almost 4,000. (See our jobs reports for July, June and May.)
The country's overall unemployment rate inched up, from 9.5 percent to 9.6 percent. Despite modest improvement in the private sector -- which had 67,000 new hires -- the overall employment numbers took a hit, in large part due to the evaporation of government jobs. In August, government employment dropped by 121,000, as 114,000 of the remaining temporary U.S. Census workers completed their duties.
The health care and construction industries showed more progress than most, with 28,000 and 19,000 new jobs, respectively.
This article first appeared on The Am Law Daily blog on AmericanLawyer.com.