From Dec. 2008 to March 2009 the number of job losses from closing and contracting establishments remained essentially unchanged at 8.5 million. The number of job gains from opening and expanding private sector establishments fell from 6.7 million to 5.7 million, the lowest level since the series began in 1992, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports.
Gross job losses exceeded gross job gains in all but two industry sectors — utilities and education and health services.
Contracting establishments lost seven million jobs, in the first quarter of 2009, an increase of 7,000 jobs compared to the previous quarter.
Expanding establishments gained 4.6 million jobs, a sharp decrease from the previous quarter when expanding establishments gained 5.4 million jobs.
Closing establishments lost 1.4 million jobs, a decrease of 60,000 jobs compared to the previous quarter.
Opening establishments gained 1.1 million jobs, a decrease from the previous quarter when opening establishments gained 1.4 million jobs.
The difference between the number of gross jobs gained and the number of gross jobs lost yielded a net change of -2.74 million jobs in the private sector for first quarter 2009. This is the largest quarterly net loss since the series began in 1992.