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May 7, 2010 12:33 PM

Legal Sector Loses 1,100 Jobs in April

Posted by Ross Todd

The U.S. economy added 290,000 jobs in April, with nearly 80 percent of them in the private sector, according to the latest employment report released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The majority of the gains were seen in manufacturing, professional and business services, health care, and leisure and hospitality, the report says.

Still, millions of Americas remain out of work, as unemployment in April rose to 9.9 percent. The Labor Department attributes the rise to 195,000 workers who reentered the labor force.

The legal sector shed another 1,100 positions last month, according to the BLS report, marking the second month in a row of four-digit losses. (BLS initially had reported 500 fewer legal jobs in March, but the figures have since been adjusted and March now registers 1,000 lost jobs in the sector.) Since April 2009, the legal sector has lost a total of roughly 28,000 jobs.

In a post on the White House blog, Christina Romer, chairwoman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, characterized the report as "the strongest sign yet of healing in the labor market, as private nonfarm payrolls expanded substantially." Still, Romer wrote, "the unemployment rate is painfully high, and payroll employment is still nearly 8 million below its level at the start of the recession." She noted that employers may be more focused now on permanent hiring, given the report's temporary employment statistics. "Temporary help services," as they are described by BLS, added 26,000 jobs in April, a drop from 32,000 temporary jobs added in March and 35,900 added in February.


Legal Sector Job Reports

March 2010

February 2010

January 2010

December 2009

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