When a company as massive as Amazon announces it is building a second headquarters, it is huge news. The economic impact on the local and national economy will be massive and could have long-term implications on not only the financial well-being of the chosen city, but also the distribution of tech talent across the industry.
Since Amazon announced its plan to open a second headquarters, speculation has run rampant on where the world’s largest e-commerce retailer is going to set up shop. Last week, RIS polled its readers on where they think Amazon is moving. The one question poll simply asked: “Where do you think Amazon is moving?”
Below are the top five responses from our poll. All of the cities in the top five with the exception of Nashville are home to more tech workers within the city limits than the national average of around 7%, according to research conducted by real estate firm Cushman & Wakefield. To add to the growth in tech workers, is the fact that all of the cities in our top five, sans Austin, are among the 25 fastest growing in the U.S. according to Forbes. Worthy of note is that all five cities chosen by our readership are in the south, meaning the smart money is on Amazon building far away from its Pacific Northwest home.
Atlanta. Over a fifth (22.7%) of respondents believe Amazon is headed to the deep south and for good reason. With a wealth of tech talent, a booming real estate market, top notch universities and one of the nation’s busiest airports ― Atlanta checks all of the necessary boxes.
Austin. Although one of the hippest cities in the south didn’t make Forbes list of the fastest growing cities this year, it is still a desired destination for young, tech-savvy workers and should help draw in quality talent should Amazon plant its flag there. In fact, over the past five years the city has seen a .7% increase in software jobs, according to Glassdoor, meaning much of the talent is already in place.Over 18% of those surveyed believe Austin will be Amazon’s new home.
Raleigh-Durham. Raleigh’s job market is booming, which could translate to increased competition for high-quality talent, but will also mean many of the workers Amazon will need to get its new headquarters off the ground are already there. In addition, CNBC reports, that much of that workforce is highly educated. Thirteen percent of those surveyed think Amazon will break ground in Raleigh.
Dallas. Texas scored two cities in our top five, with Dallas earning 9% of the vote. The mega metropolis scores high marks thanks to a massive airport, impressive job growth and a number of major universities that can help keep Amazon’s new headquarters stocked with tech-native talent.
Nashville. The Music City tied with Dallas with 9% or the vote, but less available tech talent and the lack of a mega airport means that the home of country music is a long shot to win the Amazon bid.