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Seattle-based Amazon is looking for another city to build its second headquarters and has plans to invest $5 billion and create 50,000 jobs. Jane Lee reports.
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Who helped who most — Rochester or Buffalo — is fodder for watercooler debate as the region awaits Amazon’s decision on a joint proposal to land the company’s second North American headquarters.

But there really isn’t any question.

“Rochester is kind of carrying the weight more than Buffalo,” said Adam Ozimek, senior economist at Moody’s Analytics, a unit of Moody’s Corp.

Amazon announced plans last month to build a second headquarters, a $5 billion project that could include as many as 50,000 jobs. The company put out a public request for proposals, drawing interest from communities across the state and nation. Those proposals are due next week. On Thursday, Rochester and Buffalo officials said they would submit a single application, together.

The Flower City ranks fourth among metro areas where Amazon should go, according to a report from Moody’s also out Thursday. The ranking is based on Amazon’s stated preferences and relevant economic factors. While both metros scored highly in affordability — a significant factor for cost-conscious Amazon — Rochester is the stronger of the two in quality of life and skilled workforce.

Buffalo, ranked 21st overall by Moody’s, becomes a drag (numerically speaking).

“There are other ways to think about this, though,” Ozimek said, noting that perhaps the biggest disadvantage facing Rochester is demographics. “Combine it with Buffalo and the thought of filling 50,000 jobs seems a little less daunting.”

The joint proposal will include a menu of potential sites in each urban center, officials said, as well as what local and state financial incentives are possible. It…