Few companies have the ability to singlehandedly reshape an American city, but if anyone can, it's Amazon. The ubiquitous tech giant announced last week that it was hunting for a second headquarters, in addition to its home base in Seattle. With it comes the possibility of 50,000 new tech jobs for one lucky metro area, as well as worries about skyrocketing housing costs.
Despite these "prosperity bomb" anxieties, cities are jostling for Amazon to consider their real estate. As part of Amazon's announcement, it released an eight-page request for proposals outlining its requirements for its so-called "HQ2." On its wish list: a city with more than 1 million residents, a stable local economy, and only the best amenities to attract high-tech talent.
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The New York Times took Amazon at its word and broke down the statistics to find the perfect fit for HQ2. Reporters analyzed cost of living, state business climates, public transit options, and quality of life. While an individual worker's requirements are going to be different than a mammoth corporation's, it's worth seeing what Amazon values in a location. If you're flexible and curious about living somewhere new, consider the process by which the New York Times narrowed down Amazon's options. Some factors, like average rent and job growth, are available online without wading through reams of government data.
About 11 percent of Americans moved between 2015 and 2016, and about 20 percent of them relocated for a job. For most people, other aspects of moving to a new region or city matter just as much as their work. Will you like the weather in Phoenix? Do you need a car to get around Atlanta? Is your family close, and do you already have networks and friends in your potential new home? Forbes offers a list of 20 questions you should ask yourself before committing to a big (and likely expensive) move.
If you're most interested in following Amazon, the New York Times suggest the company should set up shop in Denver. Last year, U.S. News & World Report ranked the Mile-High City No. 1 in the nation for livability. If it's good enough for Amazon, hey — it might be good enough for you.