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Apple says it creates, supports 514,000 US jobs

updated 02:45 pm EST, Fri March 2, 2012

Apple tries to tout job benefit to US

Apple has reacted to concerns that it was offshoring too many jobs with a new Job Creation promo page on Friday. The iPhone maker contended that a total of 514,000 jobs were either directly created by Apple or depended heavily on it for support. While only 47,000 were core Apple employees, many of them retail, it believed 257,000 in various industries had jobs that depended significantly on Apple and another 210,000 in the iOS "app economy."

The company's more detailed look also claimed rapid growth, including many iOS developers and a quadrupling of direct Apple jobs in the past 10 years. A biting example also contrasted Apple's insistence on having US-based customer support with the tendencies of Windows PC builders like Dell and HP to outsource help to countries like India and the Philippines, saving them money but hurting their customers through language and product familiarity barriers.

"Relocating our call centers overseas to places like India would reduce our costs by 50 percent or more," Apple said. "But we keep these jobs in the U.S. because it helps us deliver a better customer experience. It's also an important reason why Apple's technical support has led the industry for more than a decade."

The company also had to partly acknowledge a rival's help. In touting "workers in Texas" making iOS device processors, it was referring to an Austin-based Samsung plant built primarily for the A5 and beyond.

While a reflection of the effects of Apple on the US economy, the unusually political piece appears a response to President Obama's calls for more new US jobs as well as wider criticisms of Apple's dependence on Chinese manufacturing. Foxconn, its main contractor, employs hundreds of thousands of Chinese by itself. Many of the individual parts are made at companies across southeast Asia.

Calls have been made for Apple to bring these jobs to the US, although the reality of doing so may be difficult to overcome. Foxconn and others like it can often rouse thousands of workers in one day that would take months or more in the US. Proximity to component designers creates its own problems, and many of those in the US are potentially overqualified with expectations of an engineer's pay for a manufacturing job.

by MacNN Staff



  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    of course...

    . Foxconn and others like it can often rouse thousands of workers in one day

    Of course they can. They all sleep at the foxconn campus. Thus it's really easy to rouse them all out of bed and back onto the assembly line.

  1. facebook_Eric

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Mar 2012


    And I have a bridge for sale too if you're interes

    Counting the McJobs in the retail chain is a bit of a stretch.

  1. Arne_Saknussemm

    Joined: Dec 1969


    The sad thing is...

    With all the funds Apple has floating on off-shore accounts,
    it could have modernized operations way beyond anything seen before.

    Not that this would have created a fraction of the jobs of Foxconn,
    but they would be high-end technical positions to be occupied
    by a US trained and tax-paying workforce.

    If anything it would have set an example to all others,
    and be a real pioneer all the way,
    not just another 3rd world off-shoring HP/Dell/whatever,
    employing slave labor just to get greater margins.

    Welcome to the new BIGGER
    BETTER (at making money that is),
    and most of all GREEDIER Micro$$$oft

  1. PJL500

    Joined: Dec 1969


    10 times that many

    in China

  1. Inkling

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Changing views

    My views are changing. There's a lot to what Apple is saying. App development done here but sold globally does give Americans well paying jobs rather than the dreadful, ill-paying jobs of those who work in Foxconn factories. And being an iOS developer in Pennsylvania is a heck of lot better than the soul-sucking, sweatshop-like work Amazon is offering in the same state.

    But in the end, Amazon and Apple are making the same mistake. Both are keeping their own well-paying corporate jobs in one locale--Apple in Cupertino and Amazon just a few miles from me in Seattle. In terms of a corporate culture, that's risky. A blindness that affects one department is likely to affect all of them. A corporate culture can mutate into group think.

    Politically, that's foolish. Politicians like to 'protect jobs' in their district, but those jobs have to say Apple or Amazon on the front entrance. All those iOS developers scattered across the country are invisible to politicians.

    GE is a good example of a company that, for all its under-the-table dealings (think of the ban on incandescent lights) does understand politics. They have facilities scattered all over the country. In a pinch, with some federal regulator breathing down the back of Apple or Amazon, each of them will have about three friends in Congress, their two senators and one Representative. GE would have several dozen in the same situation. That's one reason Microsoft got stomped on by the Dept of Justice in the mid-90s.

  1. chas_m



    Grunt work jobs aren't coming back

    Steve was absolutely right about this. Grunt work jobs like assembly manufacturing have left the US for good and they aren't coming back. Never mind the more-stringent health and safety regulations, the higher pay demands or the (mostly imaginary) "red tape" that plays a role in that -- Americans DO NOT WANT the kind of jobs the Chinese are willing to do, because Americans simply have BETTER OPTIONS for the most part. Ever been to rural China? Foxconn is a dream come true by comparison (which is not to say its okay).

    Instead of comparing what's happening there to modern first-world countries, try comparing China to the Industrial Age of the good old USA and I think you'll see where they are. The Industrial Age would kill most of us today, but it was on the strength of those times that the union movement (which did a lot of good back in the day) and the modern empire we call America was built. We're watching history repeat itself here, and I have every confidence that as the Chinese middle class grows, workers will win better conditions, salary, healthcare and all the rest that came to the US throughout the first half of the 20th century.

    None of the above is to suggest that Apple (or the Chinese government, the real "villains" here) have done enough. But Apple's prosperity HAS benefitted the Chinese, IS benefitting America (not just the stockholders, either!) and WILL benefit millions more in both countries compared to truly EVIL corporations like WalMart which haven't done a FRACTION as much good in China despite being MUCH larger, and have actively HURT the American economy by helping kill off manufacturing here.

    If you want to know who to blame for offshoring, look to corporations like Wal-Mart and their bought and paid for Republican pals. If you want to know who's trying to bring prosperity back to the US, look at Apple and Facebook and firms like that, who are creating a LUCRATIVE tech industry almost exclusively based in North America.

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