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If Amazon wants to fill jobs at its second HQ, data shows this city hires engineering talent the fastest

Birmingham
The Birmingham, Ala., skyline. (Flickr Photo / @LeeAdlaf)

The competition between North American cities looking to woo Amazon and land the e-commerce giant’s second headquarters could turn into a race for the eventual winner — a race to fill engineering jobs. Another Seattle-based tech company thinks it’s figured out which potential location could do that the fastest.

Textio, the startup who mission is to analyze the use of language and the effectiveness of job postings, said in a blog post on Tuesday that its data set and platform already give it insight into which cities can hire tech talent the fastest. Adding in requirements spelled out in Amazon’s request for proposals, such as a population minimum of 1 million people, Textio narrowed the field of hopefuls (which may number over 100) to 56 locations.

The post calls out cities that have been getting national media attention as so-called front-runners for HQ2. Denver, for instance, was named by The New York Times as the best place for Amazon to land — but it “is 10th from the bottom as one of the slowest places for engineering jobs to fill at just under 35 days,” according to Textio data.

GeekWire’s pick, Toronto, came in second to last in filling engineering jobs fast at almost 41 days to hire for an empty role.

Textio hiring cities
(Textio Graphic)

So, if Amazon wants to hire 50,000 high-paid workers in another city, where should it be looking? According to Textio, Birmingham, Ala., is the top spot. Surely the city is up to the same gimmicks as others to grab attention — check out its big Amazon boxes and a new website, which says:

Hey, Amazon. We heard you are looking for a city that makes bold bets, has the mindset of a pioneer, and thinks big. Well, meet Birmingham: a city that was built on what’s possible. Not only are we off the charts on quality of life and affordability, we have some of the most passionate citizens on planet earth. From Birminghamians to Amazonians – we’d love for your next home to be ours.

Birmingham Amazon
A giant Amazon delivery box in Birmingham, Ala. (AtoB Photo)

But at least now, thanks to Textio, the city can now point to real data, because it “fills engineering jobs the absolute fastest” at just over 15 1/2 days.

It’s an interesting location when you factor in Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and his side project, Blue Origin. The space venture announced this summer that it plans to invest $200 million to build its BE-4 rocket engine in a new facility in Huntsville, Ala., which has been known for decades as the Rocket City. It’s also just 100 miles north of Birmingham.

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