The U.S. legal services industry added 400 jobs between February and March of 2018 as the country’s economy posted equally incremental gains, the U.S. Department of Labor reported on Friday.

A new report issued by the department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics showed an increase in the number of people employed in the legal services industry in March, despite a slight dip in February.

The monthly BLS data show that 1,136,000 people worked in the industry in March, a number that includes lawyers, paralegals, legal secretaries as well as other law-related professions. This is an increase over February which had 1,135,600 people employed, down from the revised January figure of 1,136,000. The BLS is seasonally-adjusted, provisional and can be revised. The agency had previously reported 1,135,500 people worked in the industry in January.

While these figures still fall below pre-recession highs of 1.8 million legal services jobs in 2007, they are on par with the figures several years running now which range from 1.2 to 1.3 million.

But as noted in its January release, BLS incorporated changes to its reports that include an update to the 2017 North American Industry Classification System. The agency had previously used the 2012 version of the classification. 

These legal services industry figures mirror the modest growth in the overall employment sector, with U.S. employers adding 103,000 jobs in March after months of higher gains, according to BLS preliminary data.

This number fell short of economists projections of an increase of 185,000, but the report indicates that the labor market still remains healthy. The country’s unemployment rate remained unchanged for the sixth straight month at 4.1 percent.


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