People walk past part of the new Amazon headquarter complex under construction in downtown Seattle, Washington on September 24, 2015. AFP PHOTO / MARK RALSTON
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Hal Varian, the Google economist who helped develop the AdWords marketplace, was there.Economists from Amazon.com, Netflix, and LinkedIn elaborated on their work as well.U.S. companies went on an economist hiring spree in the late 1950s and 1960s as computers made econometric analysis possible and companies sought experts to forecast swings in the business cycle, Beers said. Today, businesses are once again ramping up their hiring of economists, this time spurred by a boom in web-generated data and tools for storing and sorting it.There were 11,500 economists working in the private sector as of May 2015, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, up from 5,580 in May 2010 .For Issi Romem, chief economist at home renovation site BuildZoom, working in tech was a way to stay in the Bay Area after he completed his doctorate at the University of California, Berkeley in 2013 and offered brighter prospects than the crowded academic job market.In the early days of the data boom, tech companies sought to entice big brains by allowing them to keep one foot in academia, said Susan Athey, a former chief economist at Microsoft who teaches at Stanford University.
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