Amazon plans to add 2,000 new jobs in New York City, the erstwhile location of an additional headquarters, as part of continued hiring across its network of technology hubs.
Amazon said Tuesday it is also creating a combined 1,500 new corporate and technology positions at hubs in Dallas, Detroit, Denver, Phoenix and San Diego.
Amazon told The Wall Street Journal the hiring will occur over the next two years. The 3,500 total amounts to a little more than half the 6,800 open positions Amazon currently lists in Seattle, where questions have swirled over the tech and commerce giant’s plans in light of the city’s new tax on large company payrolls to fund pandemic economic relief, affordable housing and local business assistance. Amazon employs more than 50,000 people in the city — a tenfold increase in the last decade.
The number of open positions Amazon lists in Seattle has trended down this year, and as of Tuesday was off 40% from a recent high in early February, when it had about 11,500 listed. Openings listed companywide are down about 23%.
Collectively, Amazon is adding some 905,000 square feet of new space in the six tech hubs it called out Tuesday, signaling that unlike many other tech employers, it does not expect remote work to be a permanent condition. The company has said all employees who are able to do so may work from home through Jan. 8, 2021.
The biggest chunk of real estate is the Lord & Taylor Fifth Avenue building in Manhattan, an iconic 11-story department store that closed in 2019. WeWork acquired most of the space and then earlier this year sold the building to Amazon for a reported $1.1 billion.
Amazon had planned to build one of its additional headquarters in New York City but faced local opposition and pushback over the size of the incentives promised by city and state lawmakers. It ultimately scrapped plans for an HQ2 in New York, focusing instead on its other HQ2 in Virginia, but has continued growing in the Big Apple anyway.
Amazon said it is spending more than $1.4 billion on office expansions across the six cities to make room for the new hires, who will work in a wide range of roles and businesses. The roles include software engineers, data scientists and user experience designers to work on cloud computing, advertising, fashion, grocery delivery and more.
“These 3,500 new jobs will be in cities across the country with strong and diverse talent pools,” Amazon senior vice president of human resources Beth Galetti said in a statement. “We look forward to helping these communities grow their emerging tech workforce.”
In Seattle, Amazon opened its latest buildings this year in the Denny Regrade, between Bell and Blanchard streets, with room for 3,000 employees and including the Mary’s Place shelter for women and families experiencing homelessness. The Block 18 building, also in the Denny Regrade, was previously reported to be on track for completion this year, representing what appears to be the final piece of the company’s headquarters plans in Seattle.
Meanwhile, Amazon has big plans to expand in Bellevue, where it would eventually employ 15,000 people. It has also snapped up space in Redmond in the last year.
Last week, the company surveyed Seattle employees on their preferences for job sites including Bothell/Woodinville, Renton, Tacoma, Redmond, Issaquah and Seattle itself. Some viewed it as a rebuke of Seattle, but a person familiar with the matter described it as a routine survey to help “inform decisions about our long-term growth, especially as COVID-19 is creating new opportunities for workplace options for our corporate employees.”
A company spokesman did not immediately respond to questions Tuesday about Amazon’s plans in Seattle.
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