August 23, 2010
Gross job losses from closing and contracting private sector establishments have steadily decreased, from a recent high of 8.5 million in December 2008 to 6.8 million in December 2009, their lowest level since June 1994.
From September to December 2009 the number of gross job gains from opening and expanding private sector establishments increased from 6.3 to 6.6 million.
Gross job gains represented 6.3 percent of private sector employment, while gross job losses represented 6.5 percent of private sector employment.
Only the professional and business services sector, which includes temporary services, experienced a change from net losses in third quarter 2009 to net gains in fourth quarter 2009. Gross job gains in this sector increased to 1.4 million jobs from 1.1 million, while gross job losses decreased to 1.2 million jobs from 1.3 million.
The construction sector continues to experience the highest net losses as a percent of total employment. From September to December 2009, job gains increased slightly from 10.4 to 10.7 percent, while job losses fell slightly from 13.7 to 13.5 percent.
These data are from the Business Employment Dynamics program. For more information, see "Business Employment Dynamics — Fourth Quarter 2009" (HTML) (PDF), news release USDL-10-1141. 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 jobs gained and the number of gross jobs lost is the net change in employment.