Archive for September 22nd, 2009

Denver’s Employment Not Quite So “Stabilized”

Still catching up from Rosh Hashanah this weekend – it’s going to be that way for a few more weeks as the Holidays of Tishrei descend on us for another season.

So Colorado’s Executive Director of the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment pronounces it “encouraging” that Colorado gained 3100 jobs while shedding 15,200 workers.  The unemployment rate will probably get worse again before it gets better, but mostly because people will re-enter the job market as things do improve.

But Denver’s job market, not so good.  According to the release, the Denver-Aurora MSA accounted for more than the state’s net labor force loss, dropping 15,552 workers (and 6,400 jobs).  The rest of the state gained 9500 jobs, and actually added a few hundred to the labor force.  In fact, Denver-Boulder and Colorado Springs MSA were the only areas to lose significant jobs in August.

In related news, the city council will fail to ask citizens to re-direct Referendum A-I money to useful projects.

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Venture Capital, Take Note

In the generally miserable venture capital environment of that last few quarters, one bright spot has been the health sciences market.  It’s one of the area where Colorado can compete effectively, and an area where America is well ahead of the rest of the world.  It produces actual long-term savings and real quality-of-life and lifespan improvements.

And the Senate – presumably with the agreement of Colorado’s Bennet and Udall – is getting ready to kill it.

First, the numbers.  VC itself has, not surprisingly, gone cliff-diving along with the rest of investment capital recently.  After the dot-com craziness, total VC investment seemed to return to a normal growth curve this century before crashing in the recent downturn:

The one exception to this has been Life Sciences.  While well behind last year’s pace, VC in life sciences has recovered fairly well in Q2, to the average over the last 5 years, and close to 2005 levels:

Note the steep drop-off in Healthcare Services VC after 2000.  I’m not certain why that’s so, but it’d be interesting to find out.  Also note that medical device investment has grown not only in dollars, but also as a percentage of total LS investment.

While the National Venture Capital Association doesn’t provide crosstabs between regions and sectors, it’s reasonable to assume that at least some of Colorado’s growth from 3.0% of venture capital dollars in 2008 to 4.3% in 2009 is a result of our strong biotech sector.

Now, the Senate is proposing what is, in effect, a national excise tax on medical device sales, to help pay for the health care takeover.  (Hat tip: TigerHawk)  Exactly where do they think the large companies come from?  Exactly where do they think the large companies get their devices to re-sell?  They don’t free-ride on this technology, they buy it once the ideas have been developed by smaller, ie, venture firms.

Brilliant idea, gentlemen.

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