December 14, 2018
Apple announced yesterday that it plans to spend $1 billion on a new campus in Austin, Texas to accommodate up to 15,000 employees. Over the next three years, the company also plans to add hundreds of workers to its offices in Boulder, Colorado; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and New York, while opening 1,000-worker operations in Culver City, California; Seattle, Washington and San Diego, California. Major tech players such as Apple, Amazon and Google are increasingly moving beyond Silicon Valley as part of strategic expansion plans and the ongoing search for new tech talent.
According to The New York Times, “these giants are increasingly outgrowing their West Coast roots. Driven by a limited pool of skilled workers and the ballooning cost of living in their home bases of Silicon Valley and Seattle, as well as President Trump’s shifting immigration policies, the companies are aggressively taking their talent hunt across the United States and elsewhere.”
Among the attractive urban areas are those with existing strength in the knowledge-based economy, including Austin, Boston, New York City and Washington DC. Apple’s move follows Amazon’s announcement of plans for new facilities in Queens, New York and Arlington, Virginia, in addition to Google’s plans to more than double its number of employees in NYC.
“Silicon Valley’s older companies have had big offices all over the world for years,” notes NYT. “Intel, for example, has far more employees in Oregon than it does in California. Hewlett-Packard, which split into two companies three years ago, has had large outposts in Idaho and Oregon.” In the last two years, Amazon has doubled its number of employees, Alphabet’s head count is up 35 percent, and Apple has experienced a 14 percent increase.
Apple currently “has 90,000 workers in the United States,” reports NYT in a related article. Previously criticized for making most of its products overseas, the company said in January that “it would invest more than $30 billion in the United States over the next five years and create 20,000 jobs by expanding existing operations and adding a new campus.”
“Apple is proud to bring new investment, jobs and opportunity to cities across the United States and to significantly deepen our quarter-century partnership with the city and people of Austin,” said Apple chief exec Tim Cook.