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Eurostat: Small Enterprises Support Half of EU Workforce

Small- and medium-sized enterprises are considered the backbone of the European economy, as in 2015 they employed nearly 70 percent of the workforce in the EU member states, according to data released by Eurostat on Wednesday.

More specifically, small enterprises provided work for about 50 percent of the workforce, while 17 percent were employed in medium-sized enterprises and a third (33 percent) in large.

The EU in 2015 was home to a total of 23.5 million non-financial enterprises, 98.7 percent of which were small (0-49 employed persons); 1 percent were medium (50-249 employed persons) and only 0.2 percent were large (250 employed persons and over).

Among small enterprises, the ones that had less than 10 persons employed, accounted for 93 percent of the total number of enterprises.

Regarding value added, 38 percent came from small enterprises, 19 percent from medium sized and 44 percent from large enterprises.

Work positions at small-sized enterprises in Italy accounted for 66 percent of the total employment in 2015; in Spain for nearly 60 percent; in Latvia for 57.5 percent and in Slovakia for 56 percent.

Germany and the United Kingdom are last on the list with 42.8 percent and 37.7 percent respectively.

The data was published by Eurostat on the occasion of the Micro-, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises Day, which takes place on June 27.

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