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Economic News Release
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Business Employment Dynamics Summary

For release 10:00 a.m. (ET), Wednesday, October 28, 2020                                   	USDL-20-1996

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

BUSINESS EMPLOYMENT DYNAMICS  FIRST QUARTER 2020

From December 2019 to March 2020, gross job gains from opening and expanding private-sector
establishments were 7.0 million, a decrease of 901,000 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 7.7 million, an increase of 685,000 jobs from the previous quarter.
The difference between the number of gross job gains and the number of gross job losses yielded a net
employment loss of 773,000 jobs in the private sector during the first quarter of 2020. (See tables A
and 1.)

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|                                                                                                         |
|          Coronavirus (COVID-19) Effect on First Quarter 2020 Business Employment Dynamics               |
|                                                                                                         |
|   Data collection and processing methods have been impacted because of the COVID-19 pandemic. More      |
|   detail can be found at www.bls.gov/covid19/effects-of-covid-19-pandemic-on-business-employment        |
|   -dynamics.htm                                                                                         |
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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 Gains

In the first quarter of 2020, gross job gains represented 5.5 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 5.7
million in the first quarter of 2020, a decrease of 689,000 jobs compared to the previous quarter.
Opening establishments accounted for 1.3 million of the jobs gained in the first quarter of 2020, a
decrease of 212,000 jobs from the previous quarter. (See tables A, 1, 2, and 3.)

Gross Job Losses

In the first quarter of 2020, 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 6.3 million jobs in the first quarter of
2020, an increase of 563,000 jobs from the prior quarter. In the first quarter of 2020, closing
establishments lost 1.4 million jobs, an increase of 122,000 jobs from the previous quarter. (See tables A,
1, 2, and 3.)

Establishment Births and Deaths

In the first quarter of 2020, the number of establishment births (a subset of the openings data)
increased by 12,000, to a total of 280,000 establishments. These new establishments accounted for
800,000 jobs, a decrease of 107,000 jobs from the previous quarter. Data for establishment deaths (a
subset of the closings data) are available through the second quarter of 2019, when 810,000 jobs were
lost at 241,000 establishments, an increase of 116,000 jobs from the first quarter of 2019. (See Technical
Note and table 8.)


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

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                          |                  3 months ended                 
                 Category                 |    Mar. |    June |   Sept. |    Dec. |    Mar.
                                          |    2019 |    2019 |    2019 |    2019 |    2020
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                          |              Levels (in thousands)              
                                          |--------------------------------------------------
 Gross job gains......................... |   7,460 |   7,637 |   7,404 |   7,864 |   6,963
        At expanding establishments...... |   6,102 |   6,253 |   6,022 |   6,364 |   5,675
        At opening establishments........ |   1,358 |   1,384 |   1,382 |   1,500 |   1,288
                                          |         |         |         |         |        
 Gross job losses........................ |   6,927 |   7,466 |   7,351 |   7,051 |   7,736
        At contracting establishments.... |   5,682 |   6,105 |   6,077 |   5,725 |   6,288
        At closing establishments........ |   1,245 |   1,361 |   1,274 |   1,326 |   1,448
                                          |         |         |         |         |        
 Net employment change (1)............... |     533 |     171 |      53 |     813 |    -773
                                          |         |         |         |         |        
                                          |--------------------------------------------------
                                          |                 Rates (percent)                 
                                          |--------------------------------------------------
 Gross job gains......................... |     6.0 |     6.1 |     5.9 |     6.2 |     5.5
        At expanding establishments...... |     4.9 |     5.0 |     4.8 |     5.0 |     4.5
        At opening establishments........ |     1.1 |     1.1 |     1.1 |     1.2 |     1.0
                                          |         |         |         |         |        
 Gross job losses........................ |     5.5 |     5.9 |     5.8 |     5.5 |     6.1
        At contracting establishments.... |     4.5 |     4.8 |     4.8 |     4.5 |     5.0
        At closing establishments........ |     1.0 |     1.1 |     1.0 |     1.0 |     1.1
                                          |         |         |         |         |        
 Net employment change (1)............... |     0.5 |     0.2 |     0.1 |     0.7 |    -0.6
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
(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.


Industries

Gross job losses exceeded gross job gains in 9 of 13 industries in the first quarter of 2020. The service-
providing industries experienced a net job decline of 764,000 jobs in the first quarter of 2020. Within
the service-providing industries, the leisure and hospitality sector had the largest over-the-quarter
net job decrease, losing 544,000 jobs. This was the result of 1,116,000 gross job gains and 1,660,000 gross
job losses. The professional and business services sector also experienced a net decrease in the first
quarter of 2020, with 107,000 net jobs lost. The goods-producing industries realized a net job decrease
of 9,000 jobs in the first quarter of 2020. Of the goods-producing industries, the manufacturing sector
had a net decrease of 54,000 jobs, and the natural resources and mining sector showed a net loss of 12,000
jobs. However, the construction sector produced a net gain of 57,000 jobs. (See table 3.)

Firm Size

In the first quarter of 2020, firms with 1-49 employees had a net employment loss of 346,000. Firms 
with 50-249 employees had a net employment loss of 95,000. Firms with 250 or more employees had a 
net employment decline of 140,000. (See tables 4 and 5.)

States

Gross job losses exceeded gross job gains in 46 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and
the Virgin Islands in the first quarter of 2020. (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 answers to frequently asked  
questions. 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.

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|                                                                                                         |
|                       Annual Revisions to Business Employment Dynamics (BED) Data                       |
|                                                                                                         |
|   Data in this release incorporate regular annual revisions to the BED series. These revisions cover    |
|   the last four quarters of not seasonally adjusted data and five years of seasonally adjusted data.    |
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_____________
The Business Employment Dynamics for Second Quarter 2020 are scheduled to be released on 
Wednesday, January 27, 2021 at 10:00 a.m. (ET).

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Last Modified Date: October 28, 2020