The legal sector added 2,000 jobs in March, according to preliminary data released Friday from the U.S. Department of Labor, the highest single-month gain in nearly a year, and the first addition of jobs in the industry since 2013 began.
Initial reports from the department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics reported a 200-job boost in the legal services industry in February based on seasonally adjusted figures, but revised data now shows that 700 jobs were lost that month. An additional 2,400 jobs were lost in January, though all data from 2013 is still considered preliminary.
The number employed in the industry as of March—1,126,900—is 9,000 higher than in March of last year. The figures have yet to rebound from their prerecession peak of 1.18 million.
Overall, the nation added an underwhelming 88,000 nonfarm payroll jobs, The New York Times reports, half of what economists expected. The unemployment rate remained nearly unchanged at 7.6 percent.
Last month, frequent Am Law Daily contributor Matt Leichter concluded that the legal sector has not benefited from what he calls the greater economy’s upward slog. Read Leichter’s full analysis here.