Being the largest public company it is hard to avoid scrutiny of business decisions. The story has begun a couple of months ago with the series of articles about work conditions at the Apple contract manufacturers in China and the impact of Apple’s outsourcing on the US economy. So here comes another batch of numbers related to the Apple’s jobs creation, this time from Apple itself.
The report does contain some interesting numbers. In total Apple supports about 514,000 US jobs, out of which 47,000 are at Apple, 257,000 are with the US research/manufacturing/service companies directly related to Apple and 210,000 are with companies focusing on App development. Which gives the job multiplier of 5.5 for r/m/s companies, 4.5 for app companies, and 10 overall. This are pretty staggering numbers and indeed far greater than the 1.7 multiplier for a typical service job.
There are two points worth keeping in mind – people employed at Apple might have been employed anyways even without Apple. This would reduce the multiplier. On the other hand, having them employed at Apple, actually created vacancies at other companies, so the effect will be moderated. Second, Apple still has about 700,000 jobs supported overseas. What if they stayed in the US? I suspect due to the productivity differences the number for the US would be lower. Also with the overseas labor laws, and, arguably, more labor- than capital intensive process, Apple enjoys more production flexibility and also lower cost. Both of these are changing but, still, probably contributed a lot towards revenues and costs.