Amazon’s insane growth is not stopping anytime soon.
The tech giant announced today that it will open a second headquarters in a North American city to be determined. Amazon said the new hub will be a “full equal” to its existing HQ in Seattle and will employ up to 50,000 people; the company employs around 40,000 folks across 33 buildings in Seattle today. You can read GeekWire’s coverage of the big news here.
It’s yet another sign of Amazon’s appetite to expand. In its most recent earnings report, the company said it employed more than 380,000 people worldwide.
That number does not include 87,000 employees from Whole Foods, the grocery giant that Amazon acquired last month. With the acquisition closed, Amazon now employs more than 467,000 people — an astonishing number given that the company reported just 20,000 employees at this time nine years ago, and 81,000 five years ago. It also makes Amazon the country’s second-largest employer behind Walmart.
Adding another 50,000 employees at the second headquarters would push Amazon’s headcount past 500,000. That milestone will likely be eclipsed before then, though.
RELATED — United States of Amazon in 2017: Interactive graphic shows where the tech giant is growing now
Earlier this year, Amazon said it planned to add another 100,000 full-time jobs in the U.S. by mid-2018, growing its domestic workforce by 55 percent. And in July, it said it would hire another 50,000 people to work in its fulfillment centers, with 80 percent of the openings for full-time roles.
There are also more than 17,000 open positions on Amazon’s jobs site.
The increasing headcount is related to the company’s higher fulfillment activity, its growing transportation logistics network, and more engineering and sales horsepower for units like Echo, Alexa, and Amazon Web Services.
Amazon added more than 110,000 total employees during 2016 alone and will surpass that mark in 2017. For perspective, Amazon’s global workforce is roughly equivalent to the population of Atlanta.
The growth is remarkable when compared to other tech competitors, though keep in mind that Amazon counts thousands of workers in its fulfillment centers as part of its headcount.
Amazon, the fastest U.S. company to reach 300,000 employees, also created more than 120,000 seasonal positions across its U.S. fulfillment, sortation and customer service centers for the holiday season last year, up from 100,000 seasonal positions in 2015. Seasonal hiring isn’t included in Amazon’s official employee count.
An analysis of Amazon’s 2016 employment growth by GeekWire found significant growth not just at its headquarters in Seattle, but also in many Midwest and Southern states, as the tech giant fills in its distribution footprint in the country. Amazon’s biggest presence is in Washington, followed by California and Texas — though that could change when the second headquarters opens.