Google, the technology and media giant, has announced plans to invest at least $13bn this year on data centers and offices across the US, in a move that potentially could make it harder for rivals and agencies to recruit and retain digital talent.

Coming on top of more than $9bn spent on bolstering its infrastructure in 2018, the new investment will enable the company to expand in 14 states and give it a foothold in a total of 24, including data centers in 13 communities.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai explained in a blog post that the new money would give it the capacity to hire tens of thousands of employees and create more than 10,000 new construction jobs in Nebraska, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas and Virginia.

He said that 2019 will be the second consecutive year in which Google grows faster outside of the San Francisco Bay Area than in it and that this growth will allow Google to improve its products and services.

“Our expansion across the US has been crucial to finding great new talent, improving the services that people use every day, and investing in our business,” he wrote.

Google’s plans include the opening of its first data center in Nevada along with the development of new data centers in Ohio and Nebraska, while other data centers in Oklahoma and South Carolina will expand.

A new office and data center is being developed in Texas, a new office is being built in Massachusetts and Google’s workforce in Virginia and Georgia will double in size.

Commenting on the development, CNN noted that Pichai recently said that investing in data centers was necessary to “lay the groundwork” for Google’s expansion into cloud computing, advertising, video and machine learning.

CNN also hinted at the possible consequences for other firms seeking to hold on to tech-savvy staff. “As tech companies grow larger and expand into media, advertising and hardware, they are also turning to newer tech hubs like Austin and New York City for talent,” it reported.

“At the same time, the push into the fast-growing cloud computing market requires more investment in data centers in the US and abroad.”

Sourced from Google, CNN; additional content by WARC staff