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Business startup rates up in most OECD countries

Staff writer |
Business startup rates in OECD countries have generally risen since the crisis but they remain below pre-2008 levels in many Euro Area economies.

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The OECD says that in most countries, with the exception of Germany, Italy and Finland, new enterprise creations have been on an upward trend since the height of the crisis, particularly in Australia and the United Kingdom, and in Denmark, Portugal and Sweden in more recent periods.

In France levels of new creations continue to be boosted by legislation supporting auto-entrepreneurs introduced in 2009.

The OECD’s latest Entrepreneurship at a Glance report says the services sector continues to drive the creation of new businesses overall

Startup rates in construction, although high, fell in most countries in 2012, the latest year for which internationally comparable data is available. In Portugal, for instance, 10% of construction jobs were lost in 2012 through failures or closures.

The number of jobs created in new Portuguese construction businesses was less than a third of those lost. In most OECD countries, the construction sector has shed nearly half the number of jobs it had before the crisis

The number of firms and jobs in manufacturing fell in most OECD countries between 2008 and 2012. Only in Germany did employment grow in the manufacturing, business services and construction sectors.

The report says young enterprises are important conduits to higher productivity through innovation and creative destruction. They accounted for between 4% and 12% of total employment in most countries in 2012.

However, low survival rates in the tougher market and tighter financing conditions since the crisis have meant that their contribution to overall employment remains generally weaker than before 2008.

Latest data show that in many countries the average size of young enterprises changed relatively little over their first three years

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