Amazon has received 238 proposals since announcing its plan to build its second headquarters in North America. And Philadelphia has hopped on the bandwagon, anticipating potential job growth and economic stimulation in the city if it is chosen to host Amazon’s second headquarters.
Philadelphia fits the few qualifications Amazon wants to see in the city it chooses: a population of more than 1 million people, public transportation and close proximity to an airport.
With a population of 1.6 million people, Philadelphia has a huge potential for business expansion, making it the ideal city for Amazon to plant its new headquarters. And with the promise to create more than 50,000 new jobs, an Amazon headquarters in the city could completely change Philadelphia’s economy for the better by reducing the city’s unemployment rate, which is 6.4 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
More employment means more money for people to spend. And if 50,000 people are spending more, our economy will be boosted tremendously.
“There are gonna be more restaurants, bars, retailers. It would increase spending in and around the economy of Philadelphia,” said Benjamin Salzer, a junior economics major and president of the Temple Economics Society. “It would just be really good for so many different sectors of the economy.”
Philadelphia is the sixth most populous city in the country, and housing Amazon’s second post would grant it even greater national status.
“Living in Philadelphia, I think it would be great,” said Moritz Ritter, an economics professor. “Not that Philadelphia needs to be put on the map, but maybe other companies will look more favorably on Philadelphia when they choose their location.”
Philadelphia ranks among the top three cities for information technology companies — which Amazon is developing into, since it accounts for 43 percent of America’s online retail sales, according to Business Insider.
This could be extremely helpful for students looking for technology-based jobs after graduation.
Salzer said he thinks Amazon HQ2 could also increase Temple enrollment, as well as other Philadelphia colleges like Drexel University and the University of Pennsylvania, because prospective students may see Amazon as a potential employer. Students looking to find tech jobs after they graduate will be more inclined to attend college in Philadelphia, attracting more qualified job candidates.
“They’re going to say, ‘Hey, if I go to one of these schools and I study engineering, Amazon’s going to have a good look at me, and I can just go work for them after I graduate,’” Salzer said. “What I think would impact [the economy] is not just the employment going toward Amazon, but overall employment into tech jobs.”
The emergence of a second headquarters might attract other businesses to the city, too, which could lead to even more job openings for Philadelphia residents.
“To estimate, for any one Amazon job, five to six other local jobs will be created, so then you’re going from 50,000 jobs to something like 250,000 jobs,” Ritter said. “I mean that obviously will be a tremendous difference to Philadelphia.”
A corporate expansion that brings that many jobs to our city is clearly beneficial.
According to the Inquirer, in the hopes of winning Amazon over, the state of Pennsylvania offered a $1 billion tax break to Amazon.
“I do think Philadelphia should be a top candidate, based on the cheapness of the city, the amount of prospects for employment and the rising tech employment,” Salzer said.
I think we have a strong chance of being chosen as the birthplace for Amazon’s HQ2, and rightfully so. Compared to the top few candidates, Philadelphia is one of the cheapest areas for Amazon to buy land.
According to the Center City District, rents for office space are $29 per square foot compared to $82 per square foot for midtown Manhattan, $56 per square foot for Boston and $52 per square foot for DC.
It is clear that Amazon and Philadelphia would benefit if Amazon were to open its new headquarters here. Philadelphia could help Amazon settle for a decent price, while Amazon would bring job opportunity to a city that needs it.