U.S. gross job gains 7.7 million while gross job losses 6.9 million in the 4th quarter of 2018

Date: July 24, 2019

Gross job gains from opening and expanding private-sector, from September 2018 to December 2018, amounted to an increase of 281,000 jobs from the previous quarter to 7.7 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 506,000 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 5.6%. Consequently, there are 5.6 million jobs lost through contracting establishments. This was a decrease of 516,000 jobs from the prior quarter. Whereas, closing establishments lost 1.3 million jobs, an increase of 10,000 jobs from the prior quarter.

Gross Job Gains

The private sector reported 6.1% of gross job gains in the fourth quarter of 2018. Gross job gains refer to the increases in employment due to expansions of existing establishments along with new jobs at opening establishments. Expanding establishments increased by 202,000 jobs to 6.3 million in the fourth quarter of 2018. Of the jobs gained in the fourth quarter, opening establishments experienced an increase of 79,000 jobs to total 1.4 million jobs relative to the previous quarter.

Establishment Births and Deaths

The number of establishment births totalled 248,000 establishments in the fourth quarter of 2018. These new establishments covered 857,000 jobs, which fell by 2,000 jobs the previous quarter.


Notably, job gains exceeded gross job losses in 9 of 13 industries in the fourth quarter of 2018. In the fourth quarter of 2018, the service-providing industries experienced a net job increase of 669,000 jobs. Within this industry, transportation and warehousing had the largest over-the-quarter net job increase with a gain of 187,000 jobs while the retail trade industry had the largest decrease with a loss of 70,000 jobs.

In addition, goods-producing industries had a net job increase of 145,000 jobs where manufacturing added 90,000 jobs, construction added 69,000 jobs, and natural resources and mining lost 14,000 jobs in the fourth quarter.

Firm Size

Firms with 1-49 employees experienced a net employment gain of 199,000 while firms with 50-249 employees had a net employment gain of 147,000. Notably, firms with 250 or more employees had a net employment gain of 400,000.

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