Microsoft now employs more than 1,900 people in Vancouver, B.C., up from less than 800 when the pandemic started in early 2020, part of a broader trend of international growth for the Redmond tech company.
Brad Smith, Microsoft’s president and vice chair, shared the new number at the outset of his keynote address this week at the Cascadia Innovation Corridor conference in Vancouver. He described Washington state, Oregon and British Columbia as “divided but not separated by a border between the two countries.”
The Seattle region’s other global tech giant, Amazon, has also been growing rapidly in Canada, announcing plans in June to bolster its ranks in the country with 1,800 new corporate and tech employees in 2021. Amazon at the time was reported to employ 5,500 full- and part-time workers in B.C., including warehouse employees.
Update: Amazon says there are currently 3,500 employees at its Vancouver Tech Hub.
Canada reopened its border to vaccinated Americans in August, and the U.S. followed suit on Nov. 8, easing the restrictions imposed at the start of the pandemic.
Microsoft’s global employee count grew to nearly 190,000 people at the end of the September quarter, a net increase of 23,500 people globally over the past year, or 14% year-over-year growth. About 14,000 of the new employees, or 60% of the total net additions in the past year, were added outside the United States.
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