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October 7, 2011 5:47 PM

Legal Sector Shed 1,300 Jobs in September

Posted by Claire Zillman

The overall economy outpaced analysts' predictions last month by adding 103,000 jobs, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics's preliminary September employment report released Friday. But the uptick didn't carry over to the legal sector. It lost 1,300 jobs last month, according to the report.

After adding 4,100 positions in July, the legal industry has now suffered two straight months of job losses. The Bureau of Labor Statistics's adjusted figures for August—released as part of Friday's report—show that the legal sector shed 300 jobs that month; the agency originally reported that the industry added 100 jobs during August. 

After a see-saw first half of the year, the legal sector has seen a net loss of 1,500 jobs so far in 2011 and has shed 3,500 jobs since September 2010, according to the BLS report.

With some economists continuing to raise the specter of a double-dip recession, the six-figure gain in overall employment was better than expected. The private sector added 137,000 new jobs in September, and got a big lift from a combined increase of 45,000 jobs in the education and health services sectors. Despite the gains, the nation's unemployment rate remained stuck at 9.1 percent.

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