San Diego Business Journal

Online shopping giant Amazon said on Aug. 18, it will create 3,500 new tech and corporate jobs, expanding its office space by more than 900,000 square feet across six U.S. cities.

The Seattle-based company said San Diego is one of six “tech hubs” across the country earmarked for expansion.

Amazon plans to add 40,000 square feet of office space in University City to house 200 additional employees which it expects to hire over the next couple of years.

In 2018, the tech giant moved into a roughly 105,000-square-foot office at 10300 Campus Point Drive in University City. With this new expansion, Amazon will be taking additional space in the same building.

Today, the company employs roughly 500 local technology workers in roles including video game development, retail software engineering, artificial intelligence, and data science.

Six Figure Roles

Among the new roles will be infrastructure architects, software engineers, data scientists, product managers and user experience designers. Such jobs at Amazon can pay in the six figures.

The company said it also would boost employment at tech centers in Dallas, Denver, Detroit, New York and Phoenix—committing to a total of 3,500 new jobs. In total, Amazon operates 18 tech hubs in the U.S. and Canada.

“Amazon’s continued growth in our San Diego Tech Hub and the creation of these 200 new jobs is a testament to the strong and diverse pool of tech talent in this community,” said Igor von Nyssen, head of Amazon’s San Diego Tech Hub. “We look forward to continue investing here and creating new opportunities for the community.”

The new jobs will support various Amazon businesses, including AWS, Alexa, Amazon Advertising, Amazon Fashion, OpsTech and Amazon Fresh.

The company currently has 70 local jobs offered on its website.

George Belch, senior associate dean and co-founder of San Diego State University’s sports MBA program said its obvious why a company such as Amazon choose San Diego as one of the six cities to expand its operations.

“If look at Amazon. They are just becoming a juggernaut and clearly what the coronavirus is doing has led to an acceleration of the whole digital process,” said Belch. “For them to be expanding San Diego is not surprising because they’re picking not only livable cities but also cities where there’s a lot of talent. We have several excellent universities including UC San Diego, San Diego State, and University San Diego, all who has created that type of talent that they need.”

San Diego Market

Over the past few years, San Diego has seen several large tech companies opening satellite offices in the region with Google, Amazon, Walmart Labs and Apple all taking space.

Apple has expanded the most so far, leasing multiple buildings in the region totaling more than 600,000 square feet with plans to create 1,200 jobs in the region.

Andy Ewald, first vice president at CBRE, said the firm believes San Diego offers great fundamentals in the market which leads them to be bullish on the continued growth of tech-related businesses.

“With such an abundant source of labor coming through our universities and a lower cost to operate compared to the Bay Area or Seattle, we believe that more ‘tech’ companies will see the benefit of operating in San Diego,” said Ewald. “Naturally, we need to work through this pandemic, but are hopeful that these fundamentals will allow for a quicker recovery than other markets.”

Sales Up 40% in Q2

Amazon, the nation’s second-largest private employer behind Walmart Inc., has spent billions to respond to the pandemic and has largely bounced back from early struggles caused by the coronavirus.

Last month, Amazon said it doubled its second-quarter income compared to last year, bringing in $5.2 billion. In addition, the company said its Q2 sales were up 40% year over year to $88.9 billion.

In July, software developers surpassed registered nurses as the number one most advertised job in San Diego with 3,600 active openings over the last 30 days, according to the San Diego Regional EDC.

“The region has the talent, the tech ecosystem and the lifestyle that growing companies like Amazon, GoSite and many others are looking for,” said Mark Cafferty, President & CEO, San Diego Regional EDC. “As a region, in partnership with our community colleges, state schools, non-traditional training programs, and universities, we’re actively investing time and resources to ensure San Diegans are qualified for positions like these, right here at home.”

Since 2010, Amazon said it has created 91,000 jobs in California and invested $50 billion across the state, including in infrastructure such as fulfillment centers, delivery stations and Prime Now hubs.

Companywide, Amazon employs more than 600,000 people in the U.S. and 876,000 worldwide. More than 100,000 of them in corporate positions. Including seasonal workers, its workforce totals more than 1 million.