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Job creation rate hit 29-year low during recession

By Catherine Clifford, staff reporter

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- Job creation was much weaker in the Great Recession than in previous downturns -- partly because startups were harder hit this time around.

The rate of job creation among all types of firms hit a 29-year low from March 2008 to March 2009, according to a report released Wednesday by the Kauffman Foundation.

And at startups, the job creation rate sank a whopping 34% between 2006 and 2009, the Kauffman report found. In earlier downturns, startups saw much more modest declines.

Of course, more established firms also experienced drops in job creation, but they weren't as dramatic as at newer firms. Among firms of all ages, the job creation rate fell 25% from 2006 to 2009, according to Kauffman.

A healthy economy needs to constantly create jobs to replace ones that are being lost. In the recent recession, the problem wasn't just layoffs, but that not enough new jobs were being added.

Even during the depths of the Great Recession, though, many companies were able to generate new jobs.

More than 14 million private-sector jobs were created in the 12 months ending March 2009, Kauffman found.

"It's heartening to know that, despite the economic obstacles, entrepreneurs were still finding ways to create jobs, though fewer than in past recessions," said Robert E. Litan, vice president of research and policy at the Kauffman Foundation.

Even so, the economy experienced a net loss of 5.7 million jobs between March 2008 and March 2009.  To top of page

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