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Report: Amazon now has more employees than Boeing in WA

The Amazon Spheres in downtown Seattle. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

There was a time when Boeing ruled the roost among businesses in Washington. But apparently, those days are over. Amazon has now surpassed Boeing as the state’s largest private employer, with 80,000 employees in the state of Washington alone, reports The Seattle Times.

Reacting to the news, Ursula wondered, “Why is it that we say it with such warmth, ‘a Boeing town’? But when it comes to Amazon, the reviews, at best, are mixed?”

For Gee, it’s partially due to a matter of roots, familiarity, and a lost sense of community.

“This is homegrown. You have family members, cousins, aunties, uncles — you’ve got everybody that worked for Boeing. … Amazon is the new kid on the block or the new student at the school with the new shoes,” he said.

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The report states that Amazon added more than 400,000 workers globally in 2020, which is the largest peacetime worker mobilization in history, with more than 16,000 of those new jobs here in Washington.

For Ursula, part of the issue is the way Amazon has impacted rents, local culture, and a sense of community, among other effects. If they did a little more to offset this, she thinks the perception might be different. That said, she worries about Amazon completely leaving the area as well.

“Already, Amazon started moving to Bellevue, Amazon’s eyeing other areas of the country to put down roots. Be careful what you wish for is what I’m saying, because I wouldn’t want to lose Amazon, especially since Boeing’s had its troubles,” she said. “My hope for the new year and beyond is that Amazon does better. There’s an opportunity. I mean, Amazon has made so much money, and so far they have donated just $200 million to local nonprofits.”

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“That sounds funny to say just, but when you think of how much money Amazon makes, that is a like a mere drop in the bucket. … I think just a couple of tweaks here and there, Amazon paying more of their fair share in terms of trying to alleviate some of the problems that the company created. I don’t think that they would be seen with such disdain. And maybe it could be more beloved like Boeing, since Boeing is no longer the big dog.”

Listen to the Gee and Ursula Show weekday mornings from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. on KIRO Radio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

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