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School of Business

Amazon Employment Grows

August 25, 2017

By Timothy S. Sullivan, Ph.D.

As reported in the Illinois Business Journal, the two Amazon fulfillment centers in Madison County are up and running, and now are employing over 2,000 workers. This is especially interesting to me, as my colleagues and I prepared an economic impact study earlier this year for the three major logistics centers in Madison County. The study was commissioned by a partnership of Madison County, the City of Edwardsville, Leadership Council Southwestern Illinois, and the St. Louis Regional Chamber.

We found that the logistics centers have a sizable impact on the Madison County economy. In particular, we estimate that the three centers have a combined economic impact in Madison County of over $1.3 billion. Tenants at the center employ about 6,000 workers, but the total impact on the county (as the effects multiply through the local economy) is closer to 10,000 jobs. Despite various tax incentives, the three centers generate about $50 million of state and local tax revenue.

As I've discussed in earlier posts, the Warehousing & Storage industry is extremely important to the local economy. As of the fourth quarter of 2016 (the latest data available), the industry employs over 3,600 workers in Madison County, paying total wages of over $40 million.

Perhaps the most interesting news is that employment at the Amazon centers is now over 2,000. When completing our report, Amazon's plans were to hire a total of only 1,000 workers. It will be interesting to see how this affects the county's employment situation in 2017.

Timothy S. Sullivan, Ph.D. is an Instructor in the Department of Economics & Finance and the Director of the Office of Regional Economic Analysis in the School of Business at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. He can be reached at

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