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April 2009, Vol. 132, No. 4
Business employment dynamics: tabulations by size of employment change
Sheryl L. Konigsberg, James R. Spletzer, and David M. Talan
Business Employment Dynamics (BED) statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) quantify the levels of quarterly gross job gains and gross job losses in the U.S. economy. In the second quarter of 2008, on a seasonally adjusted basis, 1.8 million establishments expanded or opened, creating 7.3 million jobs, and 2.0 million establishments contracted or closed, eliminating 7.8 million jobs. The gross job gains figure of 7.3 million is just one statistic that summarizes the underlying distribution of jobs created from businesses that have opened or expanded; the gross job losses figure of 7.8 million is also a single statistic, and it summarizes the underlying distribution of jobs lost from businesses that have closed or contracted. To explore the distribution of gross job gains, it is necessary to ask questions such as the following: how many establishments have grown by 1–4 jobs, by 5–19 jobs, and by 20 or more jobs? and how many total jobs have these establishments created? Analogous questions can explore the distribution of gross job losses.
In September 2008, BLS published new BED data quantifying the distributions of gross job gains and losses. These data are referred to as “size-of-employment-change” statistics.1 This article documents these data and explains how they add to people’s knowledge of U.S. labor market dynamics.
This excerpt is from an article published in the April 2009 issue of the Monthly Labor Review. The full text of the article is available in Adobe Acrobat's Portable Document Format (PDF). See How to view a PDF file for more information.
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1 Size-of-employment-change statistics are available at the BED website at www.bls.gov/bdm/bdsoc.htm (visited April 9, 2009).
Business Employment Dynamics
Business employment dynamics: new data on gross job gains and losses—Apr. 2004.
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