WASHINGTON (May 1, 2012) — From June to September 2011, gross job gains from opening and expanding private sector establishments were 7.1 million, an increase of 166,000 jobs 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 6.3 million, a decrease of 9,000 jobs from the previous quarter.
The difference between the number of gross job gains and gross job losses yielded a net employment change of 753,000 jobs in the private sector during the third quarter of 2011. This is the largest net job gain since the first quarter of 2006.
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.
Job gains at expanding establishments totaled 5.7 million in third quarter 2011, an increase from the previous quarter’s gain of 5.6 million jobs.
Opening establishments accounted for 1.3 million jobs gained in third quarter 2011, an increase of 48,000 jobs from the previous quarter.
Contracting establishments lost 5.2 million jobs in the third quarter of 2011. This was an increase from the prior quarter when contracting establishments lost 5.1 million jobs.
In the third quarter of 2011, closing establishments lost 1.1 million jobs. This was 86,000 fewer jobs lost at closing establishments than in the previous quarter.
Gross job gains represented 6.5 percent of private sector employment in third quarter 2011, while gross job losses represented 5.9 percent of private sector employment.
In third quarter 2011, the number of establishment births (a subset of the openings data, see the Technical Note for more information) rose by 4,000 to 191,000. These new establishments accounted for 763,000 jobs, an increase of 36,000 from the previous quarter.
Data for establishment deaths (a subset of the closings data) are available through fourth quarter 2010, when 691,000 jobs were lost at 186,000 establishments. These figures represent a decrease from the prior quarter when 695,000 jobs were lost at 189,000 establishments.
From June to September 2011, gross job gains exceeded gross job losses in all industry sectors except utilities. The manufacturing industry experienced the sixth consecutive quarter of positive net employment change. This comes after 16 straight quarters of net losses for this sector. Professional and business services, which include temporary help services, accounted for 27 percent of the total net job growth in the third quarter of 2011. Although the retail trade sector showed positive net employment growth in third quarter, the number of gross jobs lost from contracting establishments increased by 106,000 from the prior quarter to 754,000.
Table A. Three-month private sector gross job gains and losses, seasonally adjusted
Gross job gains exceeded gross job losses in each of the three aggregate firm size classes in the third quarter of 2011. Firms with 250 or more employees experienced the largest increase in gross job gains, and this size class comprised 52 percent of the total net change in employment for the quarter.
In the third quarter of 2011, gross job gains exceeded gross job losses in 47 states and the District of Columbia. Texas had the largest net employment gain of 98,278 jobs, followed by California with 83,825 jobs. Eleven states had both a rate of gross job gains of at least 6.5 percent (the U.S. average) and a rate of gross job losses that was the same or below the national average of 5.9 percent.
Additional information on gross job gains and gross job losses are available online at www.bls.gov/bdm.