How Amazon will grow without New York HQ2


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The decision to abandon its $ 2.5 billion plan for a head office in New York could disrupt redevelopment and give rise to hope of an upsurge in hiring around Long Island City . An entity unlikely to suffer much: Amazon itself.

The e-commerce giant plans to continue hiring even if it does not build a campus gem in Queens that promises to create 25,000 new jobs in the region. The group plans to bring as many employees to its other HQ2 selection, the Crystal City neighborhood in Arlington, Va. Just across the Potomac River from Washington.

And Amazon plans to boost hiring in 17 other cities in the United States and Canada, which it sees as technology hubs – areas where it employs at least 80 technology workers. He already employs approximately 7,000 technicians in the San Francisco Bay area, 1,000 in Austin, Texas, and 1,800 in Boston.

Amazon could still face a backlash. The attention that some politicians and community activists have drawn on the incentive program obtained from New York, as well as the retreat of its public position in the face of the opposition, have earned it a glare . And Amazon's failures could make new potential employees think as the company embarks on a war of talent




some researchers say.

"In the margins, it could hurt," said Richard Florida, a professor at the University of Toronto, who studies urban economic development.

For a company whose number of employees worldwide has more than quintupled in the past five years, reaching nearly 648,000 people, it is unlikely that the departure of the agreement with New York will slow its rise or fall. stop his hiring in the city. The company has over 800 positions in New York.

On the one hand, Amazon was planning to hire slowly. According to his predictions, the Wall Street Journal planned to add only 700 employees in 2019 to the Long Island City campus and reach its target of 25,000 people by 2028. In addition, Amazon is already doing business. Important activities in the city, especially in the areas of advertising technology, publishing and fashion.

In its announcement of the cancellation of the agreement, Amazon announced Thursday that it would further strengthen its workforce of more than 5,000 people in New York City, of which about 2,500 are technicians. Amazon has set up its footprint in New York without a campus, renting space in several office buildings, including its last location, a few blocks from Madison Square Garden in downtown Manhattan.

Amazon's expansion "is a long game that will run for decades," said Erik Brynjolfsson, professor at the Sloan School of Management at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Amazon could build in New York as Google did Alphabet last fall, when the search giant announced it would double its workforce to more than 14,000 employees in 10 years, he said . Not to mention tax incentives and other benefits that weigh on his move, Google has not suffered the heat suffered by Amazon.

Amazon "can still grow in New York. But that does not have to be a kind of QG2 announcement, "said Brynjolfsson.

Expanding beyond New York was anyway in the cards. The fight for technology workers is not limited to their peers in Silicon Valley. From carmakers to insurance companies to healthcare, companies are looking to recruit experts in software development and other fields.

When Amazon started its HQ2 process, the Seattle-based company planned to move to one site. But with the goal of hiring 50,000 workers, Amazon has chosen two, deciding that it would facilitate the hiring of the best technology talent.

If anything changes, it may be the way companies approach cities. The HQ2 campaign of Amazon CEO, Jeff Bezos, was inspired in part by

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In 2014, search for a $ 5 billion battery plant. The automaker has moved to Nevada, which has pledged more than $ 1.3 billion in tax incentives.

Technology giants should not expect to be automatically adopted by communities simply because they create new jobs.

"The technology industry grew up in areas where friction was very low," said Margaret O'Mara, professor of history at the University of Washington and author of "The Code: Silicon Valley and Remaking of America ", scheduled for this year. "Now there is an account that Amazon may not have planned."

Write to Jay Greene at [email protected]

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