Business Employment Dynamics Summary

For release 10:00 a.m. (EDT), Wednesday, July 25, 2018                                  	USDL-18-1210

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

BUSINESS EMPLOYMENT DYNAMICS  FOURTH QUARTER 2017

From September 2017 to December 2017, gross job gains from opening and expanding private-sector 
establishments were 7.8 million, an increase of 537,000 jobs gained over the quarter, the U.S. Bureau of 
Labor Statistics reported today. Over this period, gross job losses from closing and contracting private-
sector establishments were 6.8 million, a decrease of 602,000 jobs lost from the previous quarter. The 
difference between the number of gross job gains and the number of gross job losses yielded a net 
employment gain of 999,000 jobs in the private sector during the fourth 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 Gains

In the fourth quarter of 2017, gross job gains represented 6.4 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 
6.4 million in the fourth quarter of 2017, an increase of 426,000 compared to the previous quarter. 
Opening establishments accounted for 1.4 million of the jobs gained in the fourth quarter of 2017, an 
increase of 111,000 jobs from the previous quarter. (See tables A, 1, 2, and 3.)

Gross Job Losses

In the fourth quarter of 2017, gross job losses represented 5.5 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 5.5 million jobs in the fourth quarter of 
2017, a decrease of 576,000 jobs from the prior quarter. In the fourth quarter of 2017, closing 
establishments lost 1.3 million jobs, a decrease of 26,000 jobs from the previous quarter. (See tables A, 
1, 2, and 3.)

Establishment Births and Deaths

In the fourth quarter of 2017, the number of establishment births (a subset of the openings data) 
increased by 4,000, to a total of 244,000 establishments. These new establishments accounted for 
849,000 jobs, an increase of 12,000 jobs from the previous quarter. Data for establishment deaths (a 
subset of the closings data) are available through the first quarter of 2017, when 660,000 jobs were lost 
at 202,000 establishments, a decrease of 69,000 jobs from the fourth quarter of 2016. (See Technical 
Note and table 8.)

Industries

Gross job gains exceeded gross job losses in 12 of 13 industries in the fourth quarter of 2017. The 
service-providing industries experienced a net job increase of 802,000 jobs in the fourth quarter of 2017. 
Within service-providing industries, professional and business services had the largest over-the-quarter 
net job increase, with a gain of 175,000 jobs. The net job increase in professional and business services 
was the result of 1.5 million gross job gains and 1.3 million gross job losses. The utilities industry had 
the smallest net job increase over the quarter, with an increase of 1,000 jobs. The goods-producing 
industries experienced a net job increase of 197,000 jobs in the fourth quarter of 2017. Of the goods-
producing industries, construction added 105,000 jobs, manufacturing added 94,000 jobs, and natural 
resources and mining experienced a net decrease of 2,000 jobs. (See table 3.)

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

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                          |                  3 months ended                 
                 Category                 |    Dec. |    Mar. |    June |   Sept. |    Dec.
                                          |    2016 |    2017 |    2017 |    2017 |    2017
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                          |              Levels (in thousands)              
                                          |--------------------------------------------------
 Gross job gains......................... |   7,455 |   7,328 |   7,604 |   7,256 |   7,793
        At expanding establishments...... |   6,040 |   6,019 |   6,246 |   5,935 |   6,361
        At opening establishments........ |   1,415 |   1,309 |   1,358 |   1,321 |   1,432
                                          |         |         |         |         |        
 Gross job losses........................ |   7,065 |   6,674 |   7,128 |   7,396 |   6,794
        At contracting establishments.... |   5,760 |   5,521 |   5,879 |   6,082 |   5,506
        At closing establishments........ |   1,305 |   1,153 |   1,249 |   1,314 |   1,288
                                          |         |         |         |         |        
 Net employment change (1)............... |     390 |     654 |     476 |    -140 |     999
                                          |         |         |         |         |        
                                          |--------------------------------------------------
                                          |                 Rates (percent)                 
                                          |--------------------------------------------------
 Gross job gains......................... |     6.2 |     6.0 |     6.2 |     6.0 |     6.4
        At expanding establishments...... |     5.0 |     4.9 |     5.1 |     4.9 |     5.2
        At opening establishments........ |     1.2 |     1.1 |     1.1 |     1.1 |     1.2
                                          |         |         |         |         |        
 Gross job losses........................ |     5.9 |     5.4 |     5.8 |     6.1 |     5.5
        At contracting establishments.... |     4.8 |     4.5 |     4.8 |     5.0 |     4.5
        At closing establishments........ |     1.1 |     0.9 |     1.0 |     1.1 |     1.0
                                          |         |         |         |         |        
 Net employment change (1)............... |     0.3 |     0.6 |     0.4 |    -0.1 |     0.9
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
(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 fourth quarter of 2017, firms with 1-49 employees had a net employment gain of 245,000. Firms 
with 50-249 employees had a net employment gain of 165,000. Firms with 250 or more employees had a 
net employment gain of 501,000. Of the 1.9 million net jobs created over the last four quarters, firms 
with 1-49 employees contributed 30.4 percent of net job growth, while firms with 50-249 employees 
contributed 24.0 percent, and firms with 250 or more employees contributed 45.6 percent. (See tables 4 
and 5.)

States

Gross job gains exceeded gross job losses in 49 states and the District of Columbia in the fourth quarter 
of 2017. Alaska had the highest rate of gross job gains as a percent of employment at 9.4 percent, above 
the U.S. rate of 6.4 percent. Hawaii had the lowest rate of gross job gains as a percent of employment at 
5.1 percent. The Virgin Islands had the highest rate of gross job losses as a percent of employment at 
24.1 percent, above the national rate of 5.5 percent. Hawaii, Pennsylvania, and Tennessee had the lowest 
rate of gross job losses as a percent of employment at 4.9 percent each. (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 First Quarter 2018 are scheduled to be released on 
Wednesday, November 7, 2018 at 10:00 a.m. (EST).

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|                                                                                                          |
|                           Revisions to Business Employment Dynamics (BED) Data                           |
|                                                                                                          |
|                                                                                                          |
| Data in the next release, published on Wednesday, November 7, 2018, will incorporate annual revisions    |
| to the BED series. Annual revisions are published each year with the release of first quarter data.      |
| These revisions will cover the last four quarters of not seasonally adjusted data and five years of      |
| seasonally adjusted data.                                                                                |
|                                                                                                          |
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Last Modified Date: July 25, 2018