The legal industry added jobs for the third straight month in November, with 200 professionals joining the sector, according to a preliminary employment report released Friday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In another bit of good news for the industry, Friday’s report also contained revised data for October that adjusted the bureau’s original estimate that 600 new legal jobs were added that month upward to 1,000.
Factoring in the latest figures, the legal sector currently employs 1.12 million—5,800 more than it did in November 2011—and has seen a net gain of 6,900 jobs since the start of this year. March, when legal employers hired 3,200 people, is 2012′s strongest single month so far on the hiring front. Despite the year’s gains, the legal sector currently employs about 50,000 fewer people than it did before the recession, which officially began in December 2007.
The overall economy, meanwhile, added 146,000 jobs and the nation’s unemployment rate dropped to 7.7 percent from 7.9 percent, according to the BLS. Those figures were somewhat at odds with the expectations of experts, who had predicted that Hurricane Sandy—which made landfall on the East Coast on October 31—might hamper hiring in November.
On the downside, the BLS revised its overall jobs figures for September and October, lowering its previous estimates that 148,000 and 171,000 new positions, respectively, were added in those months, to 132,000 and 138,000.