Although Apple today claimed that it has created over 500,000 American jobs, a closer look shows that number is a bit of a stretch. U.S job creation is a sore spot for the mega-rich American tech company, as Apple manufactures all of its iProducts at the controversial Foxconn factories in China, instead of on this here American soil.
By releasing these numbers, Apple is hoping to prove it still makes meaningful contributions to the U.S. job market. And that half a million jobs number sure does make Apple sound quite patriotic. But, it's just not really accurate.
Apple can certainly take credit for 47,000 (or 9 percent) of those 514,000 jobs, as that number represents the people employed at Apple headquarters. But the rest of those 467,000 employed Americans aren't all Apple's making. Here's how the rest of the numbers break down, from Apple's site:
257,000 jobs at other companies, in fields that include:
- the development and manufacturing of components, materials, and equipment
- professional, scientific, and technical services
- consumer sales
- business sales
While some of those jobs are pure Apple creations, like, "consumer sales," which includes Apple store workers, that figure also includes jobs at places like FedEx and Corning, notes AllThingsD's Liz Gannes. Certainly Apple's existence supports these employees, but would the FedEx worker not have other deliveries to make without the iPhone? The other 210,000 jobs Apple attributes to the app economy, which Apple has a lot to do with, but again, involves other technology companies. And it's not clear how dependent on Apple any of these app makers are.
Apple still employs a lot of Americans. Just not as many as it would like us to think. And, it still doesn't make iPhones in the U.S.. And it never will, as a recent New York Times article explained. "It isn’t just that workers are cheaper abroad," wrote The Times' Charles Duhigg and Keith Bradhser. "Rather, Apple’s executives believe the vast scale of overseas factories as well as the flexibility, diligence and industrial skills of foreign workers have so outpaced their American counterparts that 'Made in the U.S.A.' is no longer a viable option for most Apple products." Apparently there's something about those inhumane(ish) Chinese factories that just gets the job done.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.