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Venture Capital Factor
The report also found that after dropping slightly in 2005, venture capital investment in the technology industry rose by $285 million to $12.7 billion in 2006. High tech accounts for half of all venture capital investments in the nation. R&D expenditures by high-tech companies jumped by 22 percent in 2004, the most recent data available, totaling $70.6 billion, a record-breaking amount of R&D.
"The economy is good and there is a lot of venture capital and private equity money available to help companies get started and to help them grow," said Peter Polachi, managing partner at Framingham-based technology recruiter Polachi & Co., an executive recruiter with clients including MessageLabs, Lotus Development, and Lycos.
Polachi pointed to a rising demand for C-level positions with a revenue-generation focus -- such as sales, marketing, and business development -- in the technology world.
The AeA's Archey said he is encouraged by the rise in tech employment, but noted there are some serious challenges ahead -- namely long-term recruiting prospects. This was reflected in the 2.5 percent unemployment rate for computer scientists and the below 2 percent unemployment rate for engineers in 2006.
"This problem is twofold: the lack of American kids enrolling in and graduating from math, science, and engineering programs, and a U.S. high-skilled visa system that is broken," Archey said. "This April, within two days of the start of taking applications, the U.S. government received 133,000 applications for 65,000 H-1B visas -- those visas reserved for high skilled individuals. And this is for jobs starting in October of 2007."