Google plans on creating at least 10,000 new full-time jobs in the U.S. this year, in addition to investing $7 billion in offices and real estate. That spending and hiring will take place in 19 states.
The office expansions will take place in San Francisco and Silicon Valley, Atlanta, Washington, D.C., Chicago, and New York. New datacenter buildouts are underway in Nebraska, South Carolina, Virginia, Nevada, and Texas. Google’s corporate blog offers a complete breakdown of anticipated hiring and office openings, including new offices in Minnesota, Virginia, and Houston.
In that blog posting, Google CEO Sundar Pichai highlighted his company’s broader economic impact. “Not only will these investments enable us to create new opportunities in the places where we operate; they’ll also make it possible to provide products and services that help boost economic recovery,” he wrote. “In 2020, Google Search, Google Play, YouTube and Google advertising tools helped provide $426 billion of economic activity for more than 2 million American businesses, nonprofits, publishers, creators and developers, according to our 2020 U.S. Economic Impact Report, released today.”
Google investing a gargantuan amount of money into office space is particularly interesting in light of its recent decision to embrace a flexible work model. In December 2020, The New York Times revealed an internal staff memo that stated Google employees could work from home for two days per week. “We are testing a hypothesis that a flexible work model will lead to greater productivity, collaboration, and well-being,” Pichai wrote in that memo. “No company at our scale has ever created a fully hybrid work force model—though a few are starting to test it—so it will be interesting to try.”
Although many pundits have predicted over the past several months that tech companies’ embrace of remote and flexible work will dampen the need for new (and expensive) office space, it’s clear from Google’s announcement that at least some companies will remain full-speed-ahead when it comes to building and maintaining places for employees to gather, work, and collaborate. That’s good news for tech hubs such as Silicon Valley and New York City that depend on huge tech companies maintaining a physical presence; it’s also a positive for those smaller cities hoping to attract at least a branch office of a tech titan at some point.
There’s another potential reason behind Google’s new hiring push: The company is under intense anti-trust scrutiny from the federal government, and it no doubt wants to build up some public goodwill before what will surely turn into a bruising legal process.
The federal government is arguing that Google’s agreements with Apple and other companies are choking off competition in the search market. By highlighting its economic (and job-creation) impact, Google likely wants to show how curtailing its activities could have a negative impact on many communities.
For those interested in working at Google, the company is on the hunt for very specific technical skills, according to an analysis by Burning Glass, which collects and analyzes millions of job postings from across the country:
Like many tech companies, Google also wants those with extreme specializations, notably in machine learning and A.I. While mastering common languages and tools such as Python and SQL will boost your employability, specialization is a tried-and-true pathway to promotion and higher compensation.