85% of New Jobs Created by SMEs

Brussels, 21 March 2012 – A study by DG Enterprise has revealed that 85% of all jobs created in the EU between 2002 and 2010 were created by SMEs, a considerably higher figure than their 67% share of total employment.

SMEs showed employment growth of 1% each year in the period, compared with larger companies who only saw growth of 0.5%. Micro firms (fewer than 10 employees) and new firms (younger than five years) were responsible for the vast majority of new employment.

Commission Vice-President Antonio Tajani, responsible for Entrepreneurship and Industry said: 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.

Innovation appears to be the key to SME success. Enterprises which are more innovative, or come from more innovative countries, showed greater resilience to the economic crisis and had greater job growth than others.

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