Benefits and concerns with possible Denver Amazon HQ2 deal

New jobs and higher salaries come with HQ2
Posted at 4:25 PM, Oct 19, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-19 21:12:12-04

DENVER -- The growth from a possible Amazon HQ2 comes with pluses and potential minuses for Metro Denver and the Rockies.

RELATED: Amazon brought benefits, disruption to Seattle

According to Amazon officials, the company will hire 50,000 positions as part of its plan. Yet, an economist from Colorado State University says the mere presence of Amazon could spur an additional 20,000 to 25,000 jobs.

"They'll be in a variety of sectors, ranging from housing to medical to food and entertainment, everything that we demand even ourselves and our own lives,” said economist Martin Shields.

READ MORE: Colorado's Amazon HQ2 proposal submitted a day early 

While backers of the project say Amazon will hire people already here in Colorado, the fact the unemployment rate is very low, means demand could be exceptionally high, leading to bigger paychecks.

"We should see people's income's increasing as a business comes in they need more workers, in order to do that they sometimes have to bribe them or steal them from other businesses and that pushes up wages," said Shields.

Yet the expansion could bring concerns about transportation and additional congestion.

"In order to fill a lot of these jobs, it will be people moving in from outside that puts new people on the roads, that puts new people in the national parks, there is no free lunch on this," said Shields.

Denver7 asked CDOT and the leaders behind the Amazon push, just how many additional cars HQ2 could bring. While no specific numbers were provided, leaders stress public transportation is a central part of the plan.               

"Fifty-five percent of the employees at the Seattle location, for Amazon commute by bike, transit or walk to work and only 15 percent live in the same location as their office," said Sam Bailey of the Metro Denver Economic Development Corporation.

Additional construction is not part of the state’s submission.

“In our proposal, we're not looking to add a new interchange or interstate exit because we don't think we have to. We've leveraged the sites and the strengths that they have already to support the new jobs that will be created at the location," Bailey said. 


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