The legal sector’s employment roller coaster ride continued last month as the industry added 1,000 jobs, according to preliminary data released Friday by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The September data shows that 5,900 more people are employed in the legal sector now than were at the same point last year, and that the industry has seen a net gain of 2,900 jobs since the start of 2012.
The fresh boost in legal employment comes a month after the bureau reported the loss of 1,400 legal positions in August, a downturn that effectively wiped out the healthy hiring uptick the industry enjoyed in July. And it turns out that legal hiring was even more robust in July than originally thought. Friday’s BLS report revised the agency’s initial estimate of jobs added that month up from 1,400 to 2,000. The bureau’s revised numbers for August, meanwhile, still showed a drop of 1,400 jobs for the month.
Friday’s report raises the total number of people employed in the legal sector above 1.12 million, a figure that—with the exception of July 2012—the industry had not reached since July 2009. Prior to the onset of the global financial crisis in 2008, the legal industry regularly employed roughly 1.17 million people.
Overall, the U.S. economy added 114,000 jobs in September, and the nation’s unemployment rate dropped to 7.8 percent, its lowest point since President Barack Obama took office almost four years ago.