The legal sector added 600 jobs in October, marking the industry’s second straight month of growth amid a positive employment picture for the U.S. economy as a whole, according to the Labor Department.
In its monthly look across a host of industries, the agency’s Bureau of Labor Statistics showed that in October, 1,138,100 people worked in the legal services sector—a category that includes lawyers, legal secretaries, paralegals and other law-related professions. The BLS employment data, released Friday, is seasonally adjusted and provisional, meaning it could be adjusted in the future.
October’s results follow the legal industry’s September employment figure of 1,137,500, according to the newly released BLS data. That number has been revised downward from the original provisional figure that the agency reported last month. Initially, BLS had put September’s total at 1,138,100—the same number reported in October’s provisional results.
With October’s uptick in legal services employment, BLS data show that the industry has gained 1,600 jobs over the results in August. Before that, the sector had experienced two straight months of declines after a high-water mark for the year in June, when 1,139,500 people worked in legal services.
Although the figures have fluctuated each month, the legal industry has, generally speaking, employed between 1.13 million people and 1.14 million people since December 2016, according to historical BLS data.
The legal services figures for October come as the U.S. economy, as a whole, continued a streak of monthly job increases that has continued for more than eight years. In October, the country’s economy added a total of 250,000 jobs, according to the provisional BLS data released Friday, while the national unemployment rate remained unchanged at 3.7 percent. The additions in October reportedly outpaced the expectations of Wall Street economists, who had predicted that the economy would add some 188,000 jobs.
BLS also reported that overall, participation in the labor force was up slightly in October and that average hourly non-farm wages rose by five cents to $27.30 per hour. The wage numbers mark a 3.1 percent increase over the course of 2018, with average hourly wages increasing by 83 cents during the year.