Only Half of Jobs at Amazon’s HQ2 in Tech, Report Says, with the Balance in Support Positions

November 21, 2018, 10:31 PM UTC

Half the jobs created in Amazon’s new headquarters in Long Island City, New York, and in Crystal City, Virginia, will not be in tech, according to a Wall Street Journal report. About half the expected 25,000 jobs in each of the satellite locations will be typical support positions required in any company, such as human resources, custodial, accounting, and marketing.

Amazon employs nearly 600,000 among its warehouses, Whole Foods division, and corporate offices worldwide, but doesn’t break them down by job functions. The Information Technology Industry & Association estimates 11.5 million people work in the U.S. tech sector, and a third—about 3.8 million—provide support functions.

The Journal reports that New York City officials made the job split clear in a presentation to community groups affected by the Long Island City plan on Nov. 20 by its Economic Development Corporation, and confirmed the same with Virginia’s similar governmental group. However, many of Amazon’s support positions, especially in finance, will pay above median wages in the areas in which the new outposts will be built.

Amazon will receive up to $3 billion in tax incentives from the cities and states in which they’re building out what it once called its “HQ2,” for “second headquarters,” but much of the money depends on meeting job-creation targets.

The company said during its announcement of the two locations that the average annual salary would be $150,000. The company’s median pay was $28,446 in 2017, including part-time and seasonal workers. The firm’s CEO, Jeff Bezos, said earlier this year that the company created over 130,000 jobs in 2017 exclusive of acquisitions.

Amazon committed earlier in 2018 to raising its minimum wage to $15 an hour and boosting employees already in that range of compensation, between wages and stock, to even higher levels. However, the minimum wage in New York City is already set to increase to $15 by the end of 2018 for companies with 11 or more employees.