© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A sign is pictured outside a Google office near the company’s headquarters in Mountain View, California, U.S., May 8, 2019. REUTERS/Paresh Dave/File Photo/File Photo
(Reuters) – Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOGL) Inc’s Google said on Wednesday it plans to invest about $9.5 billion across its U.S. offices and data centers this year, up from $7 billion last year.
Google said the investment will create at least 12,000 full-time jobs in 2022 and focus on data centers in several states including Nevada, Nebraska and Virginia.
The company will open a new office in Atlanta this year, and expand its data center in Storey County, Nevada, it added.
“It might seem counterintuitive to step up our investment in physical offices even as we embrace more flexibility in how we work. Yet we believe it’s more important than ever to invest in our campuses…,” Google said in a statement.
Google has been trying to bring back its employees to some of its offices in the United States, the UK and Asia Pacific by mandating working from office for about three days a week, a step to end policies that let employees work remotely because of COVID-19 concerns.
Google will continue to invest in offices in its home state of California and support affordable housing initiatives in the Bay Area as part of its $1 billion housing commitment.
Last year, Google helped provide $617 billion in economic activity for U.S. businesses, creators and developers, according to its 2021 economic impact report.