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Small companies create most new EU jobs24th of January 2012
Small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) created 85 per cent of new jobs in the EU between 2002 and 2010, according to new figures from the European Commission.
An average of 1.1 million new jobs were created each year during the eight-year period. Employment growth for SMEs was one per cent annually, compared with 0.5 per cent for large companies.
Within the SME size category, micro firms - those with less than 10 employees - are responsible for 58 per cent of total net employment growth. This is the highest rate of employment growth in the business economy.
New firms - less than five years - are responsible for the overwhelming majority of new jobs. Those operating in business services create more than a quarter (27 per cent), while new firms in transport and communication contribute least at six per cent.
Commission vice-president Antonio Tajani said: "In this critical time for the European economy, we see small enterprises delivering and confirming their role as main generators of new jobs.
"Their significant share in job creation highlights the greater than ever economic relevance of SMEs and the need to support them at all levels. The small and new enterprises are clearly the key for restoring economic growth."