From December 2011 to March 2012 gross job gains from opening and expanding private sector establishments were 6.9 million, an increase of 26,000 from the previous quarter, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Over this period, gross job losses from closing and contracting private sector establishments were 6.1 million, a decrease of 399,000 from the previous quarter.
The difference between the number of gross job gains and the number of gross job losses yielded a net employment change of 814,000 jobs in the private sector during the first quarter of 2012.
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. Business Employment Dynamics (BED) statistics track these changes in employment at private business units from the third month of one quarter to the third month of the next. Gross job gains are the sum of increases in employment from expansions at existing units and the addition of new jobs at opening units. Gross job losses are the result of contractions in employment at existing units and the loss of jobs at closing units. The difference between the number of gross job gains and the number of gross job losses is the net change in employment.
The BED data series include gross job gains and gross job losses at the establishment level by industry subsector and for the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands, as well as gross job gains and gross job losses at the firm level by employer size class.
Gross job gains at expanding establishments totaled 5.7 million in first quarter 2012, an increase of 149,000 from the previous quarter.
Opening establishments accounted for 1.2 million jobs gained in first quarter 2012, a decrease of 123,000 from the previous quarter.
Contracting establishments lost 4.9 million jobs in first quarter 2012. This is a decrease of 303,000 from the prior quarter.
In first quarter 2012, closing establishments lost 1.2 million jobs, a decrease of 96,000 from the previous quarter.
Gross job gains represented 6.3 percent of private sector employment in first quarter 2012, while gross job losses represented 5.6 percent of private sector employment.
In first quarter 2012, the number of establishment births (a subset of the openings data, see the Technical Note for more information) fell by 9,000 to 193,000. These new establishments accounted for 748,000 jobs, a decrease of 54,000 from the previous quarter.
Data for establishment deaths (a subset of the closings data) are available through second quarter 2011, when 677,000 jobs were lost at 190,000 establishments. These figures represent an increase from the prior quarter when 610,000 jobs were lost at 184,000 establishments.
During first quarter 2012, gross job gains exceeded gross job losses in all industry sectors except information, and transportation and warehousing. Manufacturing experienced its eighth consecutive quarter of net employment gains. The leisure and hospitality industry experienced a net employment gain of 250,000 jobs, representing the largest net employment gain in that industry since the series began in 1992.
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