Google’s Ripple Effect: Impacts of the Tech Giant’s Data Centers

October 25, 2018 by Midlothian Economic Development


Have you ever wondered just how much Google’s data centers have contributed economically to the communities in which they are located?

Six data centers power Google’s technological operations in the United States, including its iconic search engine, cloud computing, and other Web-based services on which so much economic activity now depends.

Google’s seventh and eighth data centers, respectively, are currently under construction in Montgomery County, Tenn., and Bridgeport, Ala., and the company recently purchased 375 acres in Midlothian, Texas.

According to an April 2018 report “Google's Data Centers: Economic Impact and Community Benefit,” by Oxford Economics, Google’s data centers contribute significantly to job growth and income gains at both the national and state levels.

In 2016, Google data centers generated:

  • $1.3 billion in economic activity
  • $750 million in labor income
  • 11,000 jobs throughout the United States

In short, Google’s data centers create a ripple effect that flows through not only data center campus employees and an external supply chain, but also retail and leisure establishments in the wider economy thanks to those employees’ spending.

Stepping Up for Education

The Oxford report stated that on-campus activity is further supported by an external supply chain that employs nearly 3,500 additional workers. In fact, when all these channels in the greater economy are considered, each direct Google data center job is found to support an additional 4.9 jobs throughout the U.S. (for a national jobs multiplier of 5.9).

Pretty impressive statistics.

And as history has shown, Google’s contributions don’t stop there.

For example, Google partners with communities on workforce development and education initiatives that both prepare the current workforce for positions in the new economy and increase engagement with young women and minority students interested in science and math, according to the report.

Google has stepped up to help schools in a variety of ways: through coding lessons, mentors volunteering, community service projects, helping with robotics teams and in classrooms, supplying Wi-Fi and educational resources to students in rural communities on their long bus rides to school … and so much more.

Leading By Example

Going even further, Google’s long-term commitment to take power from renewable energy sources has both environmental and economic benefits. Last year, Google became the first company of its size to purchase enough energy from sources like wind and solar to exceed the amount of electricity used by its operations around the world, including offices and data centers.

Without a doubt, analyses have repeatedly shown the far-reaching positive impacts spurred by the mere presence of Google's data centers. And the stories continue to unfold.

Google has demonstrated that it cares deeply about and supports the communities in which it operates. Leading by example, this innovative company strives to ensure that its positive impacts can be felt not only economically, but educationally, socially, and environmentally, as well.

Data Center Site-Selection Factors for Success

Setting up a data center comes with a host of site-selection factors to be carefully considered before making a decision. Data centers require a location that offers an abundant amount of electricity as well as other critical infrastructures such as transportation accessibility, water, and utilities. To learn four important factors to consider when deciding on a location for your data center facility, download our infographic now!

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