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Amazon expands to become Bellevue's second-largest employer

caption: Amazon Prime packages are loaded on a cart for delivery in New York.
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Amazon Prime packages are loaded on a cart for delivery in New York.
AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File

Amazon continues to expand in Western Washington, and not just at its Seattle HQ.

More updates in KUOW's Today So Far Blog!

The Puget Sound Business Journal is reporting that Amazon is grown significantly in Bellevue, so much that it has ousted T-Mobile as the second largest employer in town.

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Between 2020 and 2021, the online giant more than doubled its Bellevue employees — from 3,100 to 7,500 people. Over at T-Mobile, the company added 100 workers during that same time. In Seattle, Amazon still holds more than 61,000 workers.

The Business Journal estimates that Amazon's employee count is even larger now. The company did an internal headcount last month and added up more than 9,100 employee. It is possible Amazon will have more than 10,000 workers on the Eastside by the end of summer.

The Journal further notes that tech companies have generally grown in Bellevue, with Meta (Facebook), Microsoft, and Salesforce all adding new employees.

Amazon has been eying Bellevue for a few years as a place to expand its workforce — and Bellevue has been welcoming the company.

It started such plans in 2019 when it began moving its Worldwide Operations Team across Lake Washington (the team that helps get packages from the warehouse to customers' doors). Upon hearing those plans, Bellevue Mayor John Chelminiak said, "Welcome home, Amazon." And technically, founder Jeff Bezos started the company in the garage of his West Bellevue home in 1994.

The region's commercial and office space is growing alongside the tech expansion in Bellevue. The demand for Seattle area office space is the second highest in the nation. And companies are signing 10-year contracts for office space.

As KUOW's Joshua McNichols reported earlier this year, the growth is largely driven by tech companies as they expand.

More updates in KUOW's Today So Far Blog!

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