U.S. gross job gains 7.4 million while gross job losses 6.9 million in the 1st quarter of 2019

October 30, 2019

Gross job gains from opening and expanding private-sector, from December 2018 to March 2019, amounted to a decrease of 393,000 jobs from the previous quarter to 7.4 million according to the Bureau of Labour Statistics. It was also noted that gross job losses from closing and contracting private-sector establishments booked 6.9 million, indicating a decline of 107,000 jobs from the previous period.

Gross Job Losses

In relation to gross job losses, which refers to contractions in employment at existing establishments and the loss of jobs at closing establishments, the private-sector accounted for 5.5%. Consequently, there are 5.6 million jobs lost through contracting establishments in the first quarter of 2019. This was a increase of 23,000 jobs from the prior quarter. Whereas, closing establishments lost 1.2 million jobs, a decrease of 130,000 jobs from the prior quarter.

Gross Job Gains

The private sector reported 5.9% of gross job gains in the first quarter of 2019. Gross job gains refer to the increases in employment due to expansions of existing establishments along with new jobs at opening establishments. Expanding establishments decreased by 280,000 jobs to 6.0 million in the first quarter of 2019. Of the jobs gained in the first quarter, opening establishments experienced a decrease of 113,000 jobs to total 1.3 million jobs relative to the previous quarter.

Establishment Births and Deaths

The number of establishment births totalled 256,000 establishments in the first quarter of 2019. These new establishments covered 814,000 jobs, which fell by 49,000 jobs the previous quarter.


Notably, job gains exceeded gross job losses in 10 of 13 industries in the first quarter of 2019. In the first quarter of 2019, the service-providing industries experienced a net job increase of 414,000 jobs. Within this industry, education and health services had the largest over-the-quarter net job increase, with a gain of 152,000 jobs.

In addition, goods-producing industries had a net job increase of 111,000 jobs where manufacturing added 26,000 jobs, construction added 84,000 jobs, and natural resources and mining lost 1,000 jobs in the first quarter.

Firm Size

Firms with 1-49 employees experienced a net employment gain of 280,000 while firms with 50-249 employees had a net employment gain of 150,000. Notably, firms with 250 or more employees had a net employment gain of 149,000.

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