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The Amazon jobs explosion in Ohio

Inside an Amazon warehouse. Photo: Helen Richardson/The Denver Post/Getty

In 2015, there were fewer than 50 Amazon employees in Ohio. By the end of this year, that number will approach 9,000.

What's happening: The jobs boom is due to a string of warehouse openings. Amazon now has seven distribution centers in Ohio — two on the sites of former malls — and it is building an air hub near Cleveland.

The big picture: In all, Amazon says it employs more than 125,000 people in some 100 U.S. warehouses.

  • Ohio has always been a top destination for such logistics hubs — half of the U.S. population is within a one-day drive from Columbus. Several Ohio cities were also bidding for Amazon's tech jobs — and Columbus even made the top 20 list for HQ2.
  • But as we reported from Columbus, superstar cities on the coasts continue to vacuum up the lion's share of tech jobs while many smaller metros are left with warehouses or data centers.

Says Mark Muro of the Brookings Institution: "Thousands of fulfillment jobs, which will likely be susceptible to automation in the coming years, aren’t what will change the geography of tech and smooth over the nation’s imbalances."

Go deeper: Old malls are turning into e-commerce warehouses