The announcement shows how Amazon, like other large tech companies, has been thriving in the economic chaos of the pandemic. As consumers hunkered down and shopped online, Amazon posted record sales and profits in the most recent quarter. It sold 57 percent more products than a year earlier, and profit doubled to $5.2 billion.
In recent years, the rapid growth of technology firms, both those from the West Coast and local start-ups, has transformed a broad swath of Manhattan into a vibrant tech hub. The biggest firms — Apple, Amazon, Facebook and Google — have all expanded their footprints in the city, cementing New York City as a global tech corridor.
The companies have largely settled on the Far West Side, stretching along West 34th Street to the Hudson River and down to the Chelsea neighborhood. Collectively, they employ roughly 20,000 people in the city, and Google’s campus there has become its largest outside its headquarters in Mountain View, Calif.
Just this year, Facebook has hired more than a thousand people in New York City, bringing its total there to more than 4,000. It has plans to hire thousands more for new offices it has recently leased at the Farley Building near Penn Station and down the street at Hudson Yards, the mini city on the Hudson River that is the country’s largest private development.
Amazon backed out of plans to build a second headquarters in New York last year, after fierce criticism from some lawmakers and residents. When the company made that sudden change, executives said they would take the 25,000 jobs it had planned in Queens and spread them around smaller tech hubs, including thousands of jobs in New York. It is proceeding with plans to build a second headquarters, known as HQ2, in the Washington area, where it expects to employ 25,000 people.