The aim of this paper is to test the employment effect of business R&D expenditures, using a unique longitudinal database covering 677 European manufacturing and service firms over the period 1990-2008. Main result from the whole sample dynamic LSDVC (Least Squared Dummy Variable Corrected) estimate is the labour-friendly nature of companies’ R&D, the coefficient of which turns out to be statistically significant, although not very large in magnitude. However, the positive and significant job creation effect of R&D expenditures is detectable in services and high-tech manufacturing but absent in the more traditional manufacturing sectors. This means that we should not expect positive employment effects from increasing R&D in the majority of industrial sectors. This evidence should be kept in mind by European innovation policy makers having employment as one of their specific aims.