More businesses failed in 1987 than started operation, a difference from the positive business birth-death rate recorded in 1986, according to figures that will be included in the annual Utah Department of Employment Security report.

Some 4,135 businesses started in 1987, but 4,727 ceased operation, a decline of 592. The figures are the latest available because the 1988 totals will be compiled after the final 1988 quarter statistics are submitted, according to Rick Newman, a department labor market economist.In 1986, there were 4,699 businesses "born" and 4,179 businesses that went out of operation, a net gain of 520.

The figures reflect new and dead companies in the mining, construction, manufacturing, transportation/communications/public utilities, trade, finance/insurance/real estate and services industries. They are compiled from unemployment insurance files along with reports from counties, Newman said.

In 1987, the only industries that showed a positive birth-death rate were transportation/communications/public utilities with a plus of one company, and government, which showed a net gain of 76 new entities. All of the other areas showed a loss statewide.

Salt Lake County had a net loss of 264 companies in 1987, the report showed, while Davis County had a net loss of 36 companies, Washington County, 58; and Weber County, 57. The only counties showing a net gain in companies were Box Elder, Juab, Piute, Rich, Sanpete, Summit, Wasatch and Wayne.

Of the 2,267 companies born in Salt Lake County in 1987, 252 were in construction, 131 in manufacturing, 662 in trade, 257 in finance/insurance/real estate and 823 in the service industry. Of the 2,531 companies that ceased operation in 1987, 339 were in construction, 153 in manufacturing, 664 in trade, 159 in finance/insurance/real estate and 879 in the service industry.