The Download: Google is investing $7 billion in offices and data centers across the U.S. in 2021, down from $10 billion last year. It plans to create 10,000 new full-time jobs to take on the pandemic-driven surge in internet traffic. The expansion will include new data centers in Nebraska, South Carolina, and Texas, and offices in Atlanta, Washington D.C., New York, and Chicago. An additional $1 billion will be spent in California, Google’s home state.
Why It Matters: Moving offices coincides with a time when many companies are leaving Silicon Valley behind after the pandemic jump-started a shift to remote work, making large and small firms alike reconsider California’s higher operational costs and hefty taxes. Bringing in more jobs outside the Bay Area will also help Google invest in diverse communities as part of their racial equity commitments.
In Their Own Words: “In-person visits haven’t been possible over the past year,” said Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google and Alphabet. “Yet I continue to be inspired by the stories I’ve read of teachers moving to virtual classrooms, local shops taking digital orders, and job seekers enrolling in online courses to sharpen their skills. It’s why I believe a lasting economic recovery will come from local communities, and the small businesses that give them life. Google wants to be a part of that recovery.”
Surface Says: We’re just glad these spaces aren’t fated to become Amazon fulfillment centers.