U.S. Fourth Quarter Business Employment Dynamics Report (Text)

Following is the text of the quarterly business employment dynamics report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

BUSINESS EMPLOYMENT DYNAMICS: FOURTH QUARTER 2011

From September to December 2011 gross job gains from opening and expanding private sector establishments were 6.9 million, a decrease of 204,000 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 6.5 million, an increase of 181,000 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 368,000 jobs in the private sector during the fourth quarter of 2011.

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 5.5 million in fourth quarter 2011, a decrease of 203,000 from the previous quarter.

Opening establishments accounted for 1.3 million jobs gained in fourth quarter 2011, essentially unchanged from the previous quarter.

Contracting establishments lost 5.2 million jobs in fourth quarter 2011. This is an increase of 52,000 from the prior quarter.

In fourth quarter 2011, closing establishments lost 1.3 million jobs, an increase of 129,000 from the previous quarter.

Gross job gains represented 6.3 percent of private sector employment in fourth quarter 2011, while gross job losses represented 6.0 percent of private sector employment

In fourth quarter 2011, the number of establishment births (a subset of the openings data, see the Technical Note for more information) rose by 6,000 to 197,000. These new establishments accounted for 778,000 jobs, an increase of 15,000 from the previous quarter.

Data for establishment deaths (a subset of the closings data) are available through first quarter 2011, when 613,000 jobs were lost at 185,000 establishments. These figures represent a decrease from the prior quarter when 691,000 jobs were lost at 186,000 establishments.

During fourth quarter 2011, gross job losses exceeded gross job gains in the construction, information, leisure and hospitality, and other services sectors. The construction industry experienced a net employment loss of 33,000 jobs after two consecutive quarters of positive net growth. Professional and business services, which include temporary help services, accounted for 25 percent of the total private sector net job change in the fourth quarter of 2011.

Gross job gains declined in all three major firm size classes compared to the previous quarter. Firms with 1-49 employees experienced the largest drop in gross job gains. Firms with 250 or more employees accounted for 85 percent of the total net change in employment for the quarter.

In the fourth quarter of 2011, gross job gains exceeded gross job losses in 41 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. California had the largest net employment gain of 79,832 jobs, followed by Texas with 65,886 jobs. Arizona, Missouri, North Carolina, South Dakota, West Virginia, and Puerto Rico had both a rate of gross job gains at or above the U.S average of 6.3 percent, and a rate of gross job losses that was the same or below the national average of 6.0 percent.

More Information Additional information on gross job gains and gross job losses are available online at www.bls.gov/bdm. This information includes data on the levels and rates of gross job gains and gross job losses by firm size, not seasonally adjusted data and other seasonally adjusted time series not presented in this release, charts of gross job gains and gross job losses by industry and firm size, and frequently asked questions on firm- size data. Additional information about the Business Employment Dynamics data can be found in the Technical Note of this release or may be obtained by e-mailing BDMinfo@bls.gov.

The Business Employment Dynamics for First Quarter 2012 are scheduled to be released on Friday, November 16, 2012 at 10:00 a.m. (EST).

To contact the reporter on this story: Kristy Scheuble in Washington at kmckeaney@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Marco Babic at mbabic@bloomberg.net

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