On the long list of things that New York City desperately needs—money for the subway, for affordable housing, for schools and public hospitals and universal pre-K—more high-paying, high-skilled jobs is not at the top of the list. It could be argued, in fact, that many of New York’s ills are caused by the explosion of high-paying jobs in a city where the construction of affordable housing and transit improvements has not kept up pace.
Yet New York and hundreds of other cities spent the past year trying to convince Amazon to bring 50,000 jobs to the city, a process that was rewarded on Tuesday when Amazon formally announced that it would set up new offices in Queens and in the Crystal City area of Arlington, Virginia.
“We are excited to build new headquarters in New York City and Northern Virginia,” said Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon, in a statement. “These two locations will allow us to attract world-class talent that will help us to continue inventing for customers for years to come. The team did a great job selecting these sites, and we look forward to becoming an even bigger part of these communities.”
That New York and Arlington were so heavily courting Amazon is not surprising: It is a trillion-dollar public company, and it is constantly creating new divisions and products that change the way we live and work. The company has vowed to bring at least 25,000 jobs in each city, as well as $5 billion in investment, and tax revenue and redevelopment plans that will create more jobs. “This is a giant step on our path to building an economy in New York City that leaves no one behind,” New York’s Mayor Bill De Blasio said in a statement.