Alongside other French regions and the rest of the world, in the 1st quarter of 2009, the Paris Region economy confirmed the slowdown that hit it in the 4th quarter of 2008. Paris Region, however, seems to have suffered less than other regions. Although the unemployment rate in the region has increased sharply in recent months, for example, it is 1.3 points below the national level; unemployment was 7.4% in the 1st quarter of 2009 (up from 6.7% in the 4th quarter of 2008) compared with 8.7% for France as a whole.
Similarly, the increase in the number of business failures is less marked than it might have been compared with the national level. In addition, as expected, the number of business start-ups has been quite remarkable since the introduction of the French government's new "auto-entrepreneur" stimulus plan for small businesses; whilst 2007 and 2008 were very good years, business start-ups in Paris Region jumped by 32% compared with the same quarter in 2008 and by 45% compared with the 4th quarter of 2008.
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