Columbus, Ohio, the state’s capital, is still in the running among the cities being considered for Amazon’s second headquarters (HQ2). Is this necessarily a good thing?


Amazon’s announcement that it would invest $5 billion and create 50,000 jobs in the location where they choose to build their second headquarters set off intense competition among cities hoping to lure the e-commerce giant. But Alana Semuels reminds us in The Atlantic that cities desperate for jobs have welcomed Amazon before in the form of warehouse work at distribution centers. These jobs have typically started at $12 an hour and are so grueling that very few workers “make it to two years of continuous service.” Despite this, locals say any job is better than no job, but the adverse effects of low-paid, high turnover work on a depressed city have been clear:

San Bernardino is just one of the many communities across the country grappling with the same question: Is any new job a good job? These places, often located in the outskirts of major cities, have lost retail…

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5 thoughts on “The Dark Side of Amazon’s Job Creation

  1. Maryland’s governor thinks it’s worth billions in bonds and taxpayer money to lure them here PLUS a couple more billion in road improvements. (He had to contradict his Secretary of Transportation who said “the sky’s the limit” on infrastructure for them. I begin to wonder if they use any data at all when vying to attract a new business or just become impulsive big spenders bent on “winning”.

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  2. It really depends on which side of the fence you stand on. More than likely it would be very good for cities and/or states where Amazon decides to set up shop – sales tax revenue, jobs (which help get politicians elected), and construction/transportation jobs in and around those facilities. On the other hand, the employees that work in the fulfillment centers as you indicate make very low wages. I’m not a fan – but, our lives include Amazon whether we like it or not. Kind of like Walmart really.

    I think Chicago is still in the running but I hope we don’t get Amazon in Illinois. Good post Rebecca.

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    1. I’m generally on the fence where big business-created growth is concerned. And not being on the ground there, it’s probably not my place. But I found that article interesting. For some, of course, any job is a good job. But I don’t think all growth is good. I don’t shop at Walmart, but the temptation of Amazon Prime two-day-and-at-my-door delivery was too strong–so I admit I’m complicit in it all!

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