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Sharp Drop in Start-Ups

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This recession is taking a particularly heavy toll on business creation, as sources of small-business funding dry up and would-be entrepreneurs become more risk-averse, writes Cari Tuna in the Wall Street Journal. Businesses in their first 90 days of life accounted for 14% of hiring in the U.S. between 1993 and 2008, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. "Business starts fell 14% from the third quarter of 2007 to the third quarter of 2008; the 187,000 businesses launched in that quarter were the fewest in a quarter since 1995. The number ticked up slightly in the fourth quarter, the latest data available. But those new establishments created only 794,000 jobs, the fewest since the government began tracking the data in 1993."