Heather McPherson


August 03, 2017


Each day, over 25 million terabytes of data are created: your tweets, pictures, websites, and videos. How do we keep track of all that information? Not through a “cloud” or some abstract internet concept. The answer is through data centers, which are critical to job creation and innovation in the modern economy.

Tim Day, senior vice president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Chamber Technology Engagement Center (C_TEC), penned an op-ed advocating for increased investment in data centers. He notes,

Technology is the foundation of our digital economy, and its modern infrastructure is data.

At their core, data centers are large physical facilities that house data processing computers. Though often overlooked, the impact of data centers is enormous. Today, there are over 3 million data centers in the U.S. that serve countless industries such as manufacturing, health care, and finance, to name a few.

A recent C_TEC report shows the great benefits data centers bring to communities nationwide. When a data center is built, it significantly boosts the local economy in a number of ways. During the construction of a typical data center, 1,688 local workers are employed and an average of $243.5 million in output is generated. In addition, the average data center will produce $9.9 million in revenue for state and local governments.

One of the most meaningful effects of data centers is that they introduce industries to new areas. For instance, Google, Blue Cross and Blue Shield, and AT&T have invested millions of dollars in building data centers in Alabama, bringing along those industries with them.

In June, C_TEC hosted Data Centers: Jobs & Opportunities in Communities Nationwide, where leaders from diverse industries convened to discuss the vital role data centers play in their businesses. They also echoed a similar sentiment to Day regarding data centers on the international level.

Currently, the U.S. leads the world in data centers, as it is responsible for 43% of global data center business. For many industries like health care and manufacturing, it is vital that the U.S. remains ahead of its competitors by implementing new technology to streamline the storage and process of big data, as well as continuing to invest in research and development.

While data centers are largely influential globally, we cannot forget the positive impact they have on our own communities in the U.S. Data centers not only provide jobs, but they also strengthen and empower local communities to meet the demands of the modern economy.

About the authors

Heather McPherson