The legal sector ended 2013 in upbeat fashion by adding 800 jobs last month, according to seasonally adjusted preliminary data released Friday by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The bureau’s December jobs report also showed that last year, the legal industry recorded its highest average monthly figure—1.127 million—since the onset of the fiscal crisis in 2008. The industry ended the year with 1.13 million jobs.
Friday’s report also contained revised employment figures for both November, during which the legal industry lost 1,400 jobs rather than the 1,100 originally estimated, and October, when the industry added 7,000 jobs rather than suffering the net loss that was originally estimated.
The broader economy also closed out 2013 with an uptick on the employment front, though the increase of 74,000 jobs fell well short of what many economists had predicted. The BLS monthly report noted that the labor force participation rate declined 0.2 percent in December. That helped offset the lackluster job gains to push the unemployment rate from 7 percent to 6.7 percent. According to the report, the nation’s labor participation rate decreased 0.8 percent over the course of the year as people simply abandoned the workforce.