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Job Losses Increased Slightly in Fourth Quarter 2009, BLS Reports

During the fourth quarter of 2009, gross job gains in the private sector grew to 6.6 million, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports. Job losses totaled 6.8 million, which marked their lowest levels since June 1994.

Small businesses with one to 49 employees accounted for 61.8 percent of all net losses. Businesses of all sizes continued to experience net job losses.

The fourth quarter also saw the establishment of 180,000 companies, which added 701,000 jobs, resulting in no change from the previous quarter. Through March 2009, 240,000 companies closed, eliminating 891,000 jobs.

Only professional and business service jobs, including temporary positions, saw gross job gains. Construction continues to have the highest net losses as a percent of total employment.

Total gross job losses at companies employing one to 249 employees accounted for 72.3 percent of losses.

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