- Apple will add 2,000 jobs in Seattle over the next five years, company officials announced at a press conference Tuesday with Mayor Jenny Durkan. The expansion will start with 200 new jobs this year.
- The expansion will make Seattle "a key engineering hub for Apple," said Kristina Raspe, vice president of global real estate. The new hires will focus on software and hardware positions, including specialty engineering fields.
- Apple has said it will invest $350 billion across the U.S. over the next five years, and recently announced plans for a campus in Austin, TX that will initially support 5,000 new employees.
Apple currently has about 500 employees in Seattle between retail stores and a machine learning outfit, according to the Seattle Times. The new workforce will occupy a downtown office building located just a few blocks away from Amazon’s Seattle headquarters.
The retail giant actually loomed over the Apple announcement, with Durkan saying she wanted to talk about a "different HQ2." The city says it did not have to offer Apple any incentives, in contrast to the bidding war for Amazon’s second headquarters.
"We’re able to have companies come locate here at this scale without us having to offer those kind of incentives," Durkan said.
However, the influx of Apple employees on top of Amazon’s presence means that Seattle will continue to be dependent on the tech industry. The city has seen rising housing and rent prices, which have fueled a homelessness and affordability crisis.
Attempts to pass a head tax on large companies to pay for affordable housing failed in the face of opposition from tech companies, including Amazon. This spring, an advisory council said it would use data and technology to focus on solutions for that and other urban problems.
In her press conference, Durkan said she would keep an eye on tech’s influence on long-time Seattle residents. "We want to make sure we are able to take advantage of some of the lessons San Francisco shows us," she said.