The U.S. legal sector gained 1,200 jobs in December, as the overall national employment situation brightened.
The number of people employed in the legal industry stood at 1,128,000 based on preliminary figures reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics on Friday. In November, there were 1,126,800 people employed in the legal industry, the bureau said.
The figures come after 12 months of ups and downs: The year started off with 1,118,000 people employed and rose to as many as 1,122,000 by April, but dropped for several months before raising again to 1,125,700 in September.
The biggest jobs gain for the legal sector came in September when the industry saw a 4,400 job spike.
Looking at 2015 as a whole, there were 10,000 jobs added throughout the year, according to the bureau’s preliminary figures in December. In 2014, the industry’s employment situation weakened, ending up in December with 2,700 fewer jobs than it started.
In the broader economy, nonfarm payroll employment rose in December by 292,000 and the unemployment rate was unchanged at 5 percent. Employment in the professional and business services sector increased by 73,000 in December, with temp help services accounting for 34,000 of the gain.
The monthly figures are preliminary and are often adjusted in future reports. They account for lawyers and legal professionals who are on the payroll, including paralegals and secretaries.