Alphabet Inc.’s Google plans to spend US$13 billion on data centers and offices across the U.S. in 2019, saying the investment will create thousands of new construction jobs in states outside its traditional base of California.
The new spending builds on US$9 billion the company put into expanding across the country last year. By the end of 2019, Google will have a presence in 24 states, Chief Executive Officer Sundar Pichai said in a blog post on Wednesday. As many as 10,000 new construction jobs could be created in Nebraska, Nevada, Ohio, Texas, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Virginia, Pichai said.
Doubling down on hiring people across the country could help spread Google’s political influence at a time when lawmakers and regulators are asking tougher questions about the internet giant’s data-driven business model and approach to privacy. At Congressional hearings in 2018, conservative politicians repeatedly accused the company of having a left-wing bias because most of its employees were based in stereotypically liberal California.
The spending also underlines how much money Google is pouring into data centers, which are key for its growing cloud-services business as well as supporting its core search and ad products. Though the company’s revenue continues marching steadily upward, costs are growing too, weighing down margins.
Google isn’t the only tech giant working to spread its growing workforce across the U.S. Apple Inc. is investing US$1 billion in new offices in Austin that could bring as many as 15,000 new jobs to the Texas capital. And Amazon.com Inc. plans to cluster thousands of new jobs in New York City and Virginia after selecting the two locations from a list of dozens of potential U.S. locations.