After adding jobs for two straight months, the legal sector lost 500 positions in May, according to seasonally adjusted preliminary data released Friday by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The drop-off followed initial BLS reports that showed the legal sector adding 2,100 jobs in April—a number BLS revised downward to 1,600 in Friday’s report. The industry also added 3,100 jobs in March after losing a combined total of 2,900 positions in January and February.
Factoring in the figures released Friday, the legal sector currently employs roughly 1.13 million people—8,300 more than at the comparable point last year. Before April, total employment in the industry had not hit 1.13 million since 2009.
The overall U.S. economy, meanwhile, added 175,000 jobs in May, though the nation’s unemployment rate ticked upward slightly from 7.5 percent to 7.6 percent.