Business Employment Dynamics Summary

For release 10:00 a.m. (EDT), Wednesday, April 25, 2018                                  USDL-18-0634

Technical Information:  (202) 691-6553  *  BDMInfo@bls.gov  *  www.bls.gov/bdm
Media Contact:          (202) 691-5902  *  PressOffice@bls.gov

BUSINESS EMPLOYMENT DYNAMICS  THIRD QUARTER 2017

From June 2017 to September 2017, gross job losses from closing and contracting private-sector 
establishments were 7.4 million, an increase of 268,000 jobs lost from the previous quarter, the U.S. 
Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Over this period, gross job gains from opening and expanding 
private-sector establishments were 7.3 million, a decrease of 348,000 jobs gained over the quarter. The 
difference between the number of gross job gains and the number of gross job losses yielded a net 
employment loss of 140,000 jobs in the private sector during the third quarter of 2017. (See tables A 
and 1.)

The change in the number of jobs over time is the net result of increases and decreases in employment 
that occur at all private businesses in the economy. Business Employment Dynamics (BED) statistics 
track these changes in employment at private-sector establishments from the third month of one quarter 
to the third month of the next. The difference between the number of gross job gains and the number of 
gross job losses is the net change in employment. (See Technical Note.) The BED data series include 
gross job gains and gross job losses by industry subsector, 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 Losses

In the third quarter of 2017, gross job losses represented 6.1 percent of private-sector employment. 
Gross job losses are the result of contractions in employment at existing establishments and the loss of 
jobs at closing establishments. Contracting establishments lost 6.1 million jobs in the third quarter of 
2017, an increase of 203,000 jobs from the prior quarter. In the third quarter of 2017, closing 
establishments lost 1.3 million jobs, an increase of 65,000 jobs from the previous quarter. (See tables A, 
1, 2, and 3.)

Gross Job Gains

In the third quarter of 2017, gross job gains represented 6.0 percent of private-sector employment. Gross 
job gains are the sum of increases in employment due to expansions at existing establishments and the 
addition of new jobs at opening establishments. Gross job gains at expanding establishments totaled 5.9 
million in the third quarter of 2017, a decrease of 311,000 compared to the previous quarter. Opening 
establishments accounted for 1.3 million of the jobs gained in the third quarter of 2017, a decrease of 
37,000 jobs from the previous quarter. (See tables A, 1, 2, and 3.)

Establishment Births and Deaths

In the third quarter of 2017, the number of establishment births (a subset of the openings data) increased 
by 1,000, to a total of 240,000 establishments. These new establishments accounted for 837,000 jobs, a 
decrease of 9,000 jobs from the previous quarter. Data for establishment deaths (a subset of the closings 
data) are available through the fourth quarter of 2016, when 729,000 jobs were lost at 217,000 
establishments, a decrease of 20,000 jobs from the third quarter of 2016. (See Technical Note and table 8.)

Industries

Gross job losses exceeded gross job gains in 9 of 13 industries in the third quarter of 2017. The service-
providing industries experienced a net job decrease of 71,000 jobs in the third quarter of 2017. Within 
service-providing industries, leisure and hospitality had the largest over-the-quarter net job decrease, 
with a loss of 147,000 jobs. The net job decrease in leisure and hospitality was the result of 1.4 million 
gross job losses and offset by 1.3 million gross job gains. The education and health services industry had 
the largest net job increase over the quarter, with a gain of 78,000 jobs. The goods-producing industries 
experienced a net job decrease of 69,000 jobs in the third quarter of 2017. Of the goods-producing 
industries, construction lost 49,000 jobs, manufacturing lost 31,000 jobs, and natural resources and 
mining added 11,000 jobs. (See table 3.)

 Table A. Three-month private sector gross job gains and losses, seasonally adjusted

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                          |                  3 months ended                 
                 Category                 |   Sept. |    Dec. |    Mar. |    June |   Sept.
                                          |    2016 |    2016 |    2017 |    2017 |    2017
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                          |              Levels (in thousands)              
                                          |--------------------------------------------------
 Gross job gains......................... |   7,689 |   7,455 |   7,328 |   7,604 |   7,256
        At expanding establishments...... |   6,232 |   6,040 |   6,019 |   6,246 |   5,935
        At opening establishments........ |   1,457 |   1,415 |   1,309 |   1,358 |   1,321
                                          |         |         |         |         |        
 Gross job losses........................ |   7,008 |   7,065 |   6,674 |   7,128 |   7,396
        At contracting establishments.... |   5,760 |   5,760 |   5,521 |   5,879 |   6,082
        At closing establishments........ |   1,248 |   1,305 |   1,153 |   1,249 |   1,314
                                          |         |         |         |         |        
 Net employment change (1)............... |     681 |     390 |     654 |     476 |    -140
                                          |         |         |         |         |        
                                          |--------------------------------------------------
                                          |                 Rates (percent)                 
                                          |--------------------------------------------------
 Gross job gains......................... |     6.4 |     6.2 |     6.0 |     6.2 |     6.0
        At expanding establishments...... |     5.2 |     5.0 |     4.9 |     5.1 |     4.9
        At opening establishments........ |     1.2 |     1.2 |     1.1 |     1.1 |     1.1
                                          |         |         |         |         |        
 Gross job losses........................ |     5.8 |     5.9 |     5.4 |     5.8 |     6.1
        At contracting establishments.... |     4.8 |     4.8 |     4.5 |     4.8 |     5.0
        At closing establishments........ |     1.0 |     1.1 |     0.9 |     1.0 |     1.1
                                          |         |         |         |         |        
 Net employment change (1)............... |     0.6 |     0.3 |     0.6 |     0.4 |    -0.1
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
(1) The net employment change is the difference between total gross job gains and total gross 
    job losses. See the Technical Note for further information.

Firm Size

In the third quarter of 2017, firms with 1-49 employees had a net employment decrease of 176,000. 
Firms with 50-249 employees had a net employment decrease of 57,000. Firms with 250 or more 
employees had a net employment increase of 36,000. Of the 1.3 million net jobs created over the last 
four quarters, firms with 1-49 employees contributed 32.0 percent of net job growth, firms with 50-249 
employees contributed 26.0 percent, and firms with 250 or more employees contributed 42.0 percent. 
(See tables 4 and 5.)

States

Gross job losses exceeded gross job gains in 27 states, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands, in the third 
quarter of 2017. Alaska had the highest rate of gross job losses as a percent of employment at 10.5 
percent, above the national rate of 6.1 percent. Pennsylvania and Tennessee had the lowest rate of gross 
job losses as a percent of employment at 5.2 percent. Wyoming had the highest rate of gross job gains as 
a percent of employment at 8.7 percent, above the national rate of 6.0 percent. Puerto Rico had the 
lowest rate of gross job gains as a percent of employment at 4.1 percent. (See tables 6 and 7.)

For More Information

Additional information on gross job gains and gross job losses is 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 can be obtained by emailing BDMinfo@bls.gov.

_____________
The Business Employment Dynamics for Fourth Quarter 2017 are scheduled to be released on 
Wednesday, July 25, 2018 at 10:00 a.m. (EDT).

 ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
|                                                                                                          |
|           Effects of Hurricanes Irma and Maria on the Business Employment Dynamics                       |
|                                                                                                          |
|  Hurricanes Irma and Maria made landfall in the United States on September 7 and September 20, 2017,     |
|  respectively, during the BED third quarter reference period. These events did not cause changes to BED  |
|  methodology. However, they did affect data collection in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. For more   |
|  information, please visit the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW) section of the following  |
|  webpage: www.bls.gov/bls/hurricanes-harvey-irma-maria.htm.                                              |
|                                                                                                          |
 ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------





The PDF version of the news release

News release charts

Supplemental Files Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Last Modified Date: April 25, 2018