The company added a net total of 2,900 people over the past year — a 4 percent increase that brought its total direct workforce to more than 92,000 people as of Dec. 31, according to new job numbers released by the company in response to a GeekWire inquiry.
If the trend isn’t obvious in Microsoft’s backyard, there’s a reason. Our crunching of the numbers shows that the company’s employment in the Seattle region grew by less than 1 percent in 2011 — and even declined slightly between the third and fourth quarters, finishing the year at 40,649 employees in the region.
The numbers don’t include contractors and others who work for Microsoft through outside firms.
Microsoft’s largest growth during the past year came internationally. That was due in part to Microsoft’s $8.5 billion acquisition of Luxembourg-based Skype, which had about 800 employees prior to the announcement of the Microsoft deal.
But it wasn’t just Skype. Microsoft added a net total of about 1,700 employees internationally in 2011, an increase of 6 percent.
That compared with net additions of 1,147 employees (2 percent growth) in the United States overall in 2011. That brought the company’s total U.S. employment to 55,000, including people based in the Seattle region.
Even with the recent increase in Microsoft’s rate of hiring, Google and Amazon have both been hiring at significantly faster rates coming out of the recession. The search company grew its employment by 33 percent in 2011, to more than 32,000 people.
Amazon’s employment as of the end of the third quarter was 51,300, up 64 percent from the same point prior year. Amazon reports its year-end financial and employment numbers next week.