From December 2016 to March 2017, gross job gains from opening and expanding private-sector establishments were 7.3 million, a decrease of 127,000 jobs over the quarter, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Over this period, gross job losses from closing and contracting private-sector establishments were 6.7 million, a decrease of 391,000 jobs from the previous quarter. The difference between the number of gross job gains and the number of gross job losses yielded a net employment gain of 654,000 jobs in the private-sector during the first quarter of 2017. (See tables A and 1.)
Job openings were little changed at 6.1 million on the last business day of September. Job openings have been at or near record high levels since June. Over the month, hires and separations were little changed at 5.3 million and 5.2 million, respectively.
Compensation costs increased 0.7 percent for civilian workers, seasonally adjusted, from June 2017 to September 2017. Over the year, compensation rose 2.5 percent, wages and salaries rose 2.5 percent, and benefits rose 2.4 percent.
This increase in average hourly earnings stems from a 2.5-percent increase in average hourly earnings being offset by a 2.3-percent increase in the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W).
The increase in real average hourly earnings combined with no change in the average workweek resulted in a 0.2-percent increase in real average weekly earnings over this period.
Median weekly earnings of the nation's 114.9 million full-time wage and salary workers were $859 in the third quarter of 2017 (not seasonally adjusted). This was 3.9 percent higher than a year earlier, compared with a gain of 2.0 percent in the CPI-U.