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Amazon believes some employees are moving from Seattle

Amazon.com Inc. offers Seattle-based employees a choice of smaller offices outside the city, suggesting that the Covid-19 outbreak and a new local employer tax have driven the e-commerce giant to consider alternatives to its hometown.

In a statement to employees Thursday, Amazon asked which communities near Seattle – including Tacoma and Redmond, Washington – they would prefer. The title of the message, which was shared on Reddit and later deleted, was “Options for Office Workstations.” Amazon declined to comment.

Amazon, which reported a total global workforce of nearly 877,000 as of June 30, has expanded beyond Seattle for several years. It is building a second major office center in suburban Virginia near the nation̵

7;s capital and has satellite locations in cities including New York, Austin and Los Angeles.

The company has threatened to focus on employment development outside of Seattle due to a rocky relationship with city officials and new taxes on large employers. The announcement suggests that Amazon may shrink its presence in its hometown, where it employs about 50,000 people in a mix of offices it owns and rents out. In 2019, it announced that it would move its worldwide operations department, which oversees Amazon’s shipping and logistics, to nearby Bellevue, where it currently employs 3,000 people.

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