RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK – Google is bypassing North Carolina for its latest round of expansion.

The Internet giant plans to invest more than $13 billion this year on new and expanded data centers and offices across the U.S., but none are scheduled for the Tar Heel state where it already has some major operations.

CEO Sundar Pichai announced the news in a blog post Wednesday , emphasizing the company’s growth outside its Mountain View, California, home and across the Midwest and South, including South Carolina and Virginia.

Google operates a large data center in the western part of the state, a  software development office in Chapel Hill, and maintains Google Fiber operations in both the Research Triangle and Charlotte markets.

“2019 marks the second year in a row we’ll be growing faster outside of the (San Francisco) Bay Area than in it,” he wrote.

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Google will build new data centers in Nevada, Texas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Ohio, South Carolina and Virginia. Pichai estimated the construction of the new centers will employ 10,000 workers.

It makes good political sense for Google to highlight its expansions outside coastal cities, said CFRA Research analyst Scott Kessler. U.S. legislators have paid increasing attention to Google and other big tech companies in the past year, and are considering passing privacy laws to regulate the companies’ reach. Investing more widely across the U.S. could help it curry favor with federal politicians and officials, he said.

Google is focused on expanding its cloud-computing business, a market where it faces stiff competition from larger rivals Amazon and Microsoft.

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The company will have a physical presence in 24 states by the end of the year. It currently has locations in 21 states, and is expanding into Nevada, Ohio and Nebraska.

Its expansion is likely also a way to attract new employees, Kessler said. Google will add an office in Georgia, and expand its offices in several cities including in Seattle and Chicago.

Google said it spent more than $9 billion on similar expansions across the country last year.

Google did not give an exact number of employees it expects to hire as a result of the 2019 expansions, but said it would be “tens of thousands” of full-time workers.

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