Tesla’s 2,500-acre manufacturing center in Austin, Texas tripled its workforce last year, according to the company’s annual compliance report filed with county officials. Bloomberg on the news for the first time.
The report filed with the Travis County Economic Development Program shows that Tesla has expanded its Austin workforce from just 3,523 temporary and permanent employees in 2021 to 12,277 by the end of 2022. Bloomberg reports that just over half of Tesla’s employees live in the county, with the average full-time worker earning a minimum salary of $47,147. Outside of Tesla’s factory, the average salary of an Austin worker is $68,060, according to data from ZipRecruiter.
businessupdates.org couldn’t get hold of a copy of the report, so it’s not clear if those employees are all full-time. If so, Tesla has hired far more full-time employees than it was contracted to do. According to the agreement between Tesla and Travis County, the company is required to create 5,001 new full-time jobs over the next four years.
The contract also states that Tesla must invest approximately $1.1 billion in the county over the next five years. Tesla’s compliance report shows that the automaker invested $5.81 billion last year in Gigafactory Texas, which officially opened a year ago during a “Cyber Rodeo” event. In January, Tesla notified regulators that it plans to invest an additional $770 million to expand the plant to include a battery cell test site and a cathodes and drive unit manufacturing site. With that investment comes more jobs.
Tesla’s choice to move its headquarters to Texas and build a mega-factory there has helped the state lead the country in job growth. The automaker is building its Crossover Model Y there and plans to also build its Cybertruck in Texas. Giga Texas will also be a model for sustainable manufacturing, CEO Elon Musk has said. Last year, Tesla completed the first phase of what will become “the largest rooftop solar installation in the world,” according to the report, per Bloomberg. Tesla has started the second installation phase, but there are already reports that this is possible see the roof from space. The goal is to generate 27 megawatts of electricity.
Musk has also pledged to turn the site into an “ecological paradise,” complete with a boardwalk and walking/biking trail that will be open to the public. There haven’t been many updates on that front, and locals were concerned that the site was actually more of a ecological nightmare that has led to noise nuisance and water pollution. The site, located at the intersection of State Highway 130 and Harold Green Road, east of Austin, is along the Colorado River and could cause a climate catastrophe if the river overflows.
The Tesla gigafactory site has also historically been home to low-income households and has a large population of Spanish-speaking residents. It is not clear whether the jobs at the factory reflect the demographic of the community in which it is located.