In announcing plans to hire at least 6,000 people, Google says 2011 will be "our biggest hiring year in company history."
According to the San Jose Mercury News, about 2,000 of the jobs will be near the company's Silicon Valley headquarters, but more than 1,000 will be in Europe, many near the company's hub in Munich, Germany. The article says:
The surge reflects Google's ambitious plans to become a powerful force in areas of the Internet far beyond its traditional sweet spot of search, with Google rapidly expanding the number of engineers working on initiatives including its Android smartphone and tablet operating system, its maps and location-based services that could deliver advertising to users based on where they are, and in products around its Chrome browser and operating system.
Google hired 4,500 people in 2010, primarily in engineering and sales. Its biggest hiring year, though, was 2007 when more than 6,000 people joined its staff.