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Side Effects of Amazon and Google Expansion

Posted by Jeff Pelliccio on Feb 1, 2019 9:00:00 AM

In ICS insights, hiring trends, Corporate Support, IT, Accounting and Finance, client, Legal and Compliance

Tech giants, Amazon and Google, are setting their sights on New York City for operation expansion in the coming years. With unemployment already at an all-time low falling to 3.9 percent in November 2018 and the job count hit an all-time high of 9.75 million, according to the New York Department of Labor.  The prospect of incoming jobs could make the market even smaller since the companies will be hiring like crazy. While this might be a big coup for the city, what does this mean for the job market?

Amazon and Google Expansion Projects

With plans set for Manhattan, one of Google’s projects includes Google Hudson Square, which is a $1 billion campus spanning 1.7 million square feet in space. Hudson Square is projected to be finished in 2020. The company will also settle into Chelsea Market with a new office complex, which should be completed by 2022. They said the cost of the Chelsea location would be approximately $2.4 billion and that they would rent another spot at Pier 57. With Google's new locations and added jobs, the company would slip into the top seat as one of New York's biggest commercial tenants. Meanwhile, Amazon will open a new headquarters into Long Island City, spending $5 billion on the project. 

Is NYC a New Tech Hub?

Though New York City is not generally known as a tech hub, according to a survey by Tech: NYC in May 2018, 80% of companies in New York City planned to hire tech talent in 2018 and more than 50% planned to increase their overall workforce by 20% in 2018. Amazon and Google could be a driving force in changing the perspective of how tech talent sees the city’s technology job market. The trend toward tech is also contributing to the growth of other related industries, such as marketing, finance, tech transactions, compliance, and privacy and security. According to Indeed.com's chief economist, Jed Kolko, New York has the largest labor market in the country, offering a diverse mix of employers and employees in varying industries. Even though the market is an expensive one, New York's diversified market makes the high costs worth it. This means the two will, no doubt, battle it out for premium talent, which may have implications for emerging companies in the area.

What Does This Mean for Start-Ups?

Tech: NYC reported that New York City is home to over 7,000 start-up companies. New York has been popular for emerging companies, specifically in the fintech, telehealth, and B2B industries. This can be mainly attributed to the diverse talent found within the big city and a plethora of opportunities for funding. With Amazon and Google moving in, it could be more difficult for these entrepreneurs to win over potential employees. Who would give up an opportunity to work with one of the largest companies in the world for a job at a start-up that could fold at any moment? Not only that, but the tech giants will offer competitive packages that would be tough for any prospect to turn down. Regardless of the impact on start-ups, the expansions are projected to create thousands of jobs in tech, which will contribute to the overall growth of the industry in the area. Amazon and Google will not pose too big of a threat to start-ups. California's Bay Area and Seattle are home to the headquarters of several large tech companies, yet there is no shortage of start-ups. The expansions will only add to the appeal of New York for future tech brands.

It is also important to note that Google and Amazon are big investors in start-up companies and their presence could actually stimulate growth with the added financial backing. For example, Google Ventures has put money into Uber, Nest, and Jet, while Bezos Expeditions has also invested in Uber, as well as Nextdoor.com. Those little companies have been fairly successful with these tech giants behind them. The numbers are also an indicator that if any city's people can make the best of a situation, it is the ambitious people of New York. In 2018, according to Crunchbase data, tech start-ups from NYC raised over $25 billion with thanks owed to venture capital firms and, in a report by CB Insights and PwC, New York start-ups surpassed San Francisco's company in the amount of venture capital funds raised. 

Impact on Job Count

Google currently has over 7,000 employees in New York City alone. The company expects to increase that number to 14,000 spread out over the next decade. That said, the actual positions to be filled have not yet been announced. Other than tech talent, it is unclear which other roles will become available. Amazon, on the other hand, as reported in the New York Daily News and the New York Post, announced that the company is looking to hire for 25,000 jobs over the next ten years. Amazon positions will include roles from all across the board, including product management, marketing, operations, software engineering, and sales. The company will also indirectly contribute to new jobs in building services, hospitality, retail, and construction. Since job growth has steadily increased throughout 2018, it is likely that 2019 will see the same trends. Indeed.com's Kolko thinks that job growth will slow down a bit due to the potential increase of interest rates. That said, New York City will likely be less affected by the interest rate factor. Industries that will take the brunt of the impact will be mining and manufacturing, which are not generally based in large cities. 

Is The Expansion Anything To Worry About?

Though the Amazon and Google expansion projects may initially cause some concern for certain industries, they might actually do more good than harm overall. They will create thousands of new jobs for candidates in New York City, not only in the tech industry but also across all markets. From supporting services to indirect contract jobs, the city will see many jobs for hire over the next ten years. New York's unemployment rate has been at a record low, and there should not be much change there. 

The companies' new locations will also stimulate growth and financial abundance for startups. Entrepreneurs who come to New York for the diversified market in hopes of finding the right talent may see competition for the tech giants but will find the energy may speed up their business's growth. Emerging companies will be in good company, and perhaps more talent will flock to the Big Apple for the booming opportunities. 

Overall, there should not be anything to be concerned about with the incoming Manhattan and Long Island City projects from Amazon and Google. The expansion will bring about the growth of the tech market and the job market, as a whole. It is an exciting event for all businesses across the city. This could be the exact thing needed to happen in order to recharge and rejuvenate the city. Something this big to shake up the market is long overdue. The buzz will bring newcomers and businesses will flourish with new opportunities and new prospective customers. 

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