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The new Google Cloud campus in Seattle’s South Lake Union neighborhood. (GeekWire Photo / Kurt Schlosser)

Google parent company Alphabet grew by a net total of 6,450 employees in the third quarter, up nearly 6 percent from the end of the second quarter, topping 114,000 employees total.

The heavy hiring, which contributed to the company’s earnings miss, showed its willingness to bet on its public cloud business as a long-term driver of growth. The single largest area of headcount growth was Google Cloud, in both technical and sales roles, said Alphabet chief financial officer Ruth Porat on a conference call with investors.

The company, which competes in the cloud against Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure and others opened a new Google Cloud engineering center in Seattle earlier this month, on the edge of Amazon’s headquarters campus. Also housing teams working on Android, Maps and Chrome, it’s the first phase in what will be a five-building Google engineering complex on the site.

For the third quarter, Alphabet missed earnings expectations due in part to a 25 percent increase in expenses to $31.3 billion, compared with the same quarter last year. Revenue was up 20 percent to $40.5 billion, and profits slipped 30 percent to $7 billion. The company reported a 27 percent increase in capital expenses, to $6.7 billion.

“We continue to invest thoughtfully in talent and infrastructure to support our growth, particularly in newer areas like Cloud and machine learning,” Porad said in the company’s earnings news release.

On the company’s conference call, Google CEO Sundar Pichai cited new developments in Google Cloud such as the company’s partnership with Mayo Clinic and work with customers including Macy’s.

Google last year dropped out of the running for the Pentagon’s $10 billion JEDI cloud computing contract that was awarded to Microsoft last week.

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