The Firms

March 4, 2011 1:04 PM

Legal Sector Lost 2,900 Jobs in February

Posted by Tom Huddleston Jr.

The United States economy may be showing signs of improvement, but in at least one way the legal sector is not enjoying the fruits of that recovery: the industry shed 2,900 jobs in February, according to the monthly employment report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The latest BLS report is a harsh dose of reality, given that the adjusted January numbers that it contains show that the legal industry actually gained 500 jobs that month--a modest boost that pales next to the job losses of both November (-900) and December (-1,600). (Click here for our January jobs report and here for our December coverage.)

Overall, the legal industry lost 1,300 jobs between February 2010 and February 2011, according to the latest BLS report.

Growth in the broader economy, meanwhile, finally appears to be taking hold. After gaining around 63,000 jobs in January, employers filled 192,000 positions last month. That pushed the nation's unemployment rate down slightly, to 8.9 percent from 9 percent. 

Industries that drove February's job growth included the manufacturing and construction sectors, each of which added 33,000 jobs; the professional and business services industry, which added 49,000, and the employment services industry, which added 29,000.

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