When thinking of Seattle, Washington, it is common to think of its spectacular seafood, unbeatable outdoor amenities and popular sports teams. Facts such as the Seattle metro being the top third city for having the highest share in tech job postings sometimes slip under the radar.
In March 2021, Indeed posted their top ten list of cities with the most tech job postings in 2020. Seattle was ranked third on the list, most notably, in front of Bay Area tech hubs in San Jose and San Francisco. Seattle’s ranking in the amount of new tech jobs is not that shocking. During the past few years, the big five tech employers (Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google and Microsoft) have been expanding their office footprint in metro Seattle.
With office rent prices far less expensive than the gateway markets of New York City, San Francisco, and Washington D.C., the Seattle metro has become home to the highest concentration of tech companies in the country. In 2020, tech companies had the biggest economic impact in the state of Washington. They made up 20.2% of Washington’s state economy, according to CompTIA.
These companies continue to expand their office space and grow their employee count throughout the Emerald City. Amazon announced that their new Bellevue facility will house 25,000 new employees throughout the next few years. Meanwhile, Microsoft, Facebook, Apple, and Google plan on hiring thousands of employees combined in South Lake Union and the Eastside.
The influx of new workers to come within the next few years will help fill the gaps of apartment demands. The lack of affordability in the single-family housing market encourages more residents to rent. The Seattle metro has seen some of the strongest price appreciation in the nation, which makes homeowning unrealistic for a significant portion of the population. In King County, the median home price is $720,000 equating to about $3,000/month in mortgage payments, while effective multifamily rent in the Seattle market was $1,789 in 1Q21.
Amazon was founded in Seattle in 1994, and in less than 30 years has grown to be the biggest retailer in the world, surpassing Walmart. Currently, Amazon has 40 buildings across the Seattle metro and employs 75,000 people in the area.
As previously mentioned, Amazon’s office in Bellevue is set to support 25,000 new jobs. Amazon plans on building two towers in the city, a 43-story tower and a 33-story office tower. The completion of these two towers in 2023 will bring Amazon’s total office square footage to 2 million square feet in Bellevue.
Microsoft is the oldest of the big five tech companies, founded in 1975. Today, Microsoft has 50,000 employees and is undergoing a multibillion campus expansion that will be completed in 2023. The expanded Redmond campus will include 18 new buildings that will accommodate 12,000 more employees, two-acre open-air plaza, sports facilities, a retail space and hiking trails.
As a part of their campus expansion, Microsoft is investing $150 million into transportation and recreational facilities. Microsoft currently has a bus station on campus, but come 2023, the Redmond Technology station will double as a bus and light-rail station.
In 2019, Google announced that they would be investing $13 billion into new office buildings across the U.S. A few of those offices ended up joining the Seattle metro skyline. In late 2021, Block 38, a 330,000-square-foot building, will be completed and will join Google’s five other buildings in South Lake Union.
The South Lake Union campus is the newest addition to Google’s footprint in Seattle, the first opening in Kirkland in 2004. Google was the leader in establishing engineer outposts having the first operation at their Kirkland campus. Now, there are over 100 engineer centers in Seattle.
With 6,300 employees and over 900,000 square feet in Seattle, Google’s impact in the area is growing. In 2020, Google generated $17.3 billion in economic activity across 52,800 businesses statewide.
Facebook is newer to the Seattle area but has already opened five buildings in the region. Facebook’s first office in Seattle opened in 2010 and has continued to grow, tripling their Seattle employee count between 2016 and 2020. Now, Facebook employs 5,000 people with more than 3 million square feet of office space in metro Seattle.
In April 2021, Apple announced that their new two 12-story office buildings in Seattle are open for 1,000 employees. The company plans to hire 1,000 more employees as well. The 630,000 square feet of office space in South Lake Union can hold up to 4,000 employees.