Google to spend $9.5bn on US data centers and offices this year

Google datacenter

Alphabet’s Google plans to invest about $9.5 billion on data centers and offices in the US this year.

An increase on last year’s $7 billion, Google said the investment will coincide with a push to hire at least 12,000 full-time workers.

The spending spree is lower than pre-pandemic years – back in 2019, the company revealed it would spend $13bn that year on data centers and offices. It then said it would spend $10bn in 2020, but trimmed its spending when Covid-19 hit.

The company did not disclose how much of the $9.5bn would go to data centers, but pointed to several previously announced projects as beneficiaries of the investment.

Among them are investments in existing data centers in Georgia, Tennessee, Virginia, Oklahoma, Iowa, Oregon, Nevada, and Nebraska.

As for offices, CEO Sundar Pichai admitted that “it might seem counterintuitive to step up our investment in physical offices even as we embrace more flexibility in how we work.”

But, he added, the company believes “it’s more important than ever to invest in [its] campuses and that doing so will make for better products, a greater quality of life for our employees, and stronger communities.”

The company is opening an office in Atlanta, Georgia, this year, as well as a downtown Austin office. It said it was improving its Cambridge and Pittsburgh offices, continuing to build out in Boulder, and investing in its Kirkland and Seattle campuses. Its California headquarters will continue to be expanded.

“Along with these investments, we expect to create at least 12,000 new full-time Google jobs by the end of the year, and thousands more among our local suppliers, partners, and communities,” Pichai said. However, the company’s data centers are increasingly operated by temps, vendors, and contractors who are not counted as full-time employees.