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February 3, 2012 11:42 AM

Legal Sector Added 1,000 Jobs in January

Posted by Claire Zillman

The legal sector kicked off 2012 on an upbeat note by adding 1,000 jobs in January, according to the preliminary employment report released Friday by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The gains mark a near-complete reversal from December 2011, when legal employers cut 1,100 positions, according to the BLS's seasonally adjusted data. (The agency initially reported a loss of 1,800 jobs in December.)

Last month's job growth represents the legal industry's greatest one-month uptick in employment since July 2011, when the sector's job rolls swelled by 4,100. January's positive numbers come on the heels of a poor fourth quarter that saw the legal sector suffer a net loss of 300 jobs.

With January's gains, the legal sector appears headed in the same direction as the broader economy, which outpaced analysts' expectations by adding 243,000 jobs in the first month of this year. The nation's unemployment rate fell from 8.5 percent in December to a three-year low of 8.3 percent, according to the BLS.

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