Job gains outstrip losses

by Wally Northway

Published: February 25,2010

Tags: employment, jobs

From March to June 2009 the number of gross job gains from opening and expanding private sector establishments was 6.4 million, an increase of 674,000 jobs compared to the previous quarter, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports.

This is the largest over the quarter increase in gross job gains since the series began in 1992. The number of gross job losses from private sector closing and contracting establishments fell to 8 million in the second quarter of 2009.

The change in the number of jobs over time is the net result of increases and decreases in employment that occur at all businesses in the economy.

Contracting establishments lost 6.6 million jobs in the second quarter of 2009, a decrease of 447,000 job losses compared to the 7 million jobs lost in the previous quarter.

Expanding establishments gained 5.1 million jobs, an increase of 513,000 jobs compared to the previous quarter.

Closing establishments remained essentially unchanged from the previous quarter at 1.4 million jobs lost.

Opening establishments gained 1.3 million jobs, a sharp increase of 161,000 jobs from the previous quarter.

The difference between the number of gross jobs gained and the number of gross jobs lost yielded a net change of -1,579,000 jobs in the private sector for second quarter 2009.

Gross job gains represented 6 percent of private sector employment, while gross job losses represented 7.5 percent of private sector employment.

Establishment births, a subset of the openings data, added 740,000 jobs at 177,000 new establishments in the second quarter 2009, an increase in employment from the previous quarter. Data for establishment deaths, a subset of the closings data, are now available for September 2008,when 882,000 jobs were lost at 223,000 establishments.

From March to June 2009, gross job losses exceeded gross job gains in all industry sectors except education and health services. Gross job gains in the education and health services sector increased to 770,000 jobs in the second quarter, while gross job losses decreased to 710,000. This industry sector is the only one that has experienced a net positive change in every quarter since this series began in 1992.

From March to June 2009, the share of gross job gains accounted for by firms with 1 to 4 employees fell from 18.2 to 16.9 percent. Firms with 1,000 or more employees experienced an increase in the share of gross job gains from 13.7 to 14.7 percent.

In the second quarter of 2009, gross job losses exceeded gross job gains in all states, the District of Columbia, the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico except Alaska where gross job gains exceeded gross job losses.

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