Sacramento tech index shows gains

Sacramento’s technology companies gained ground during the third quarter of 2009, according to an index that measures the health of the region’s tech sector.

The SARTA Tech Index rose by 8.8 percent, thanks to an uptick in hiring and strong gains in the share prices of its public companies.

The index increased to 266.1, its highest level since the fourth quarter of 2007. It was the second straight quarterly increase.

The index debuted in 2003 with an initial reading of 100.

It was developed by the Sacramento Area Regional Technology Alliance to evaluate whether the area’s tech companies are advancing or retreating. It measures companies according to employment, share price and new equity investments.

During the quarter, companies reported a net increase of 84 jobs. Public companies’ stock values rose 26.7 percent.

Venture capital investments for the year to date came to $29.1 million.

“These are extremely encouraging results,” said SARTA Chief Executive Meg Arnold in a news release. “Not only did our region’s public companies enjoy a rebound in valuation, in line with the broader public markets, but, equally importantly, our smaller private companies had the confidence to re-engage in hiring, and investors supported that confidence with new equity funding.”