The number of jobs in the U.S. legal sector dropped in the month of February by 1,500, according to figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The decline came as the overall employment situation in the U.S. brightened, with non-farm payroll positions for the month increasing by 242,000, and an unemployment holding at 4.9 percent, according to the data released on Friday.
For the legal industry, it marked the second month of job loss: In December, the number of people employed in the legal sector stood at 1,124,200, and in January, that figure fell to 1,123,100. In February, the population was at 1,121,600.
Taken into context, the bureau’s data on legal jobs showed growth throughout 2015, starting the year with 1,115,200 jobs and closing out at 1,124,200 jobs.
Still, the bureau’s data shows that eight years away from the recession, the legal sector still hasn’t recovered. In February 2007, there were 1,177,400 people employed in the legal industry, or 55,800 more jobs than February 2016.
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.