The Covid-19 crisis has brought plenty of bad news on the jobs front in recent weeks, with unemployment rates climbing and whole industries under threat from the impact of the virus. So the announcement of Amazon's expansion in Ireland, and with it 1,000 jobs, will come as a welcome break from the bad news cycle.
The new roles, which are mainly highly skilled jobs, will be created in the next two years, and recruitment for more than 200 is already under way. As expected, a significant number of the jobs will be in Dublin, while Cork will also see a rise in staff numbers. But in line with the new normal, Amazon Web Services (AWS) Ireland country manager Mike Beary said there would also be a significant number of jobs aimed at those who want to work from home.
It's not difficult to see why Amazon is growing at a time when the global economy is under threat. Amazon Web Services, which is where Ireland's interest lies, is one of the main cloud services providers. Cloud services have become the backbone of many offices in the current crisis, while people are increasingly relying on the technology for social activities too.
The Covid-19 crisis may not be wholly responsible for the shift towards a digital workplace but it has certainly accelerated the move that was already there.
The momentum that AWS saw ahead of the pandemic has led to a quiet confidence that it can, as it has in the past, hit the projected job-creation figure ahead of schedule.
What may have been of interest to industry watchers is Amazon’s decision to take an additional building at Dublin’s Charlemont Square. Due to open by the end of 2022, the new campus will house Amazon staff in addition to a customer centre and space for start-ups. For a company at the heart of the tech revolution, the realisation that physical offices will still be necessary in the immediate future will come as a comfort to commercial property investors.