February added 295,000 new jobs to the economy, and the unemployment rate decreased to 5.5%.
The legal sector added 3,100 jobs in February after two months of trending down, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The BLS approximates that 1.121 million individuals were working in the legal industry – this is the highest number since August of 2014.
Employment in professional and business services experienced gains of 51,000 in February and has increased over the year by 660,000. In February, employment continued to edge upwards: Management and technical consulting services saw a gain of 7000, computer systems design and related services gained 5000, and architectural and engineering services also increased by 5000.
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The number of long-term unemployed, or people who are without a job for 27 weeks or more, was relatively unchanged at 2.7 million in February. These individuals accounted for 31.1% percent of the total unemployed population. Over the past year, the number of long-term unemployed has decreased by 1.1 million.
Employment showed little change over the month in other industries, including information, wholesale trade, government and financial activities. The average workweek for employees on private nonfarm payrolls was 34.6 hours in February – this is the fifth month in a row at the number. The manufacturing workweek in February was steady at 41 hours, and factory overtime is at 3.4 hours – a decrease of 0.1 hour. edged down by 0.1 hour from the previous month. The average workweek for production and non-supervisory employees on private nonfarm payrolls was stable at 33.8 hours. The hourly earnings on average for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls increased in February by 3 cents to $24.78. Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings have increased by 2.0 percent. In February, the average hourly earnings of private-sector production and nonsupervisory employees were relatively stable at $20.80.
Special Counsel releases monthly economic reports for employers in order to share important hiring and employment information. To learn more about the trends in the legal staffing market, contact a Special Counsel representative near you. Contact us today.
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