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Apple’s US job footprint grows to 2.4M (apple.com)
87 points by feross 69 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 35 comments

This appears to count all the employees of all the suppliers Apple buys anything from and the entire "app economy" including people who write apps for non-Apple platforms.

This is like Google counting everyone who indirectly works on developing of a website that displays/sells via Google Ads, which is the majority of the digital economy, am I right?

It probably means that apple employees work for google too

To be fair, Apple forces you to use their proprietary hardware and software.

This means you must join the Apple ecosystem to compete, even if you strongly disagree with their practices.

What on earth is a “job footprint”?

A nice PR piece, but for context, Apple is still largely using its vast resources to enrich investors, not workers.

Source: https://www.vox.com/recode/2019/5/1/18525672/apple-stock-ear...

That might be true, but also the premise of the PR piece isn't about workers, it's about the extended "job footprint" -- as in the industries of app developers, hardware and parts manufacturers, etc. that Apple "supports" rather than directly employs. It's not super obvious how a tax cut to Apple would lead to them, like, voluntarily overpaying part suppliers. The motivating examples in the article include a company that makes battery testing equipment and a company that makes lasers.

Direct employees account for only 3% of what they're talking about.

I don't think this takes away from the idea that Apple like most companies is it in to make boatloads of cash and to hell with everyone else, but your comment seems in response to the headline rather than the article.

The premise is that this is a fluff piece warning politicians to take it easy on Apple lest these precious jobs should disappear.

>this is a fluff piece

It's literally PR hosted on their own press portal. We're you expecting critical journalism?

> lest these precious jobs should disappear.

As someone working for another company where some governments often threaten the existence of my job and the jobs of my colleagues, this concern resonates with me.

What proposals are in place to specifically target Apple for negative legislation?

You’ve phrased your question in a disingenuous way. You know it’s illegal to target specific companies with legislation.

This piece is clearly in response to the existing and impending Chinese tariffs, and in response to the President’s constant attacks on large companies with his protectionist rhetoric.

They make the same PR pieces for Europe: https://www.apple.com/uk/job-creation/

This is nothing new nor unique to Apple. All major businesses tout job creation when they can. They get more clout from it.


> And the democratic presidential runners who denounce business

None have done that; some have denounced specific business practices, and specific businesses for practicing them. That's very different.

Well, Elizabeth Warren has targeted the tech giants. But so has Trump.

Won’t they?

It's paying its workers market wages and returning the rest to investors.

That's how literally every for-profit company works, and Apple's a for-profit company.

Why do you think Apple should be any different?

Probably because a lot of people are looking around and realizing that "literally every" company should be different.

People are getting tired of making "market wages" when the market simply isn't working for them. It's been a long time since wages have even increased, let alone kept pace with cost of living in many areas.

Great, but that's got nothing to do with a specific company, and it's not for Apple to do.

It's for us to vote for representatives who will implement better taxation and finance and safety net etc. policies, that result in better wages etc.

Criticizing Apple is a distraction. Criticize your representatives and vote.

Your view of this is so short sighted and conceited I'd almost say you're an Apple shill, but I'll give you the benefit of the doubt. We do have to criticize corporations, because of this thing called "regulatory capture." Billion dollar entities like Apple have way more political power than you or I do, and they're using it to protect their fiefdoms while suppressing voter choice to ensure we can't do anything about it. Criticize your representative? Do you mean the one Apple/Google/Exxon/Raytheon spent millions of dollars getting elected? I think they may have what you call a "conflict of interest."

> It's paying its workers market wages and returning the rest to investors.

The parent comment also isn't telling the entire story.

The Fed survey from 2016 indicated that about 52% of American families own stocks, directly or as part of a fund (other surveys support that general figure). A very large number of American families own shares in Apple and own part of its $911 billion market cap. The next counter would be to say that it only really benefits the top 25% of families or similar (those with meaningful equity assets), which would be a goalpost shift.

I think you've overlooked the fact that enriching investors IS enriching its workers, because they are generally given real stock grants upon employment, and gradually as time goes by.

This applies for countless engineers from the company past and present, whom I (as one of them) personally know.

The cited 2.4 million only includes 90,000 actual Apple employees.

Right, but all the others still have jobs. That's the point of the 2.4 million: there are the ones employed directly, then those employed by suppliers, suppliers of those suppliers, etc.

your point? the poster said that the tax cuts apple gets profit the shareholders, not the employees or workers in the supply chain.

I guess you think we should all be grateful that they gave us a job. They're so good with us.

> I think you've overlooked the fact that enriching investors IS enriching its workers, because they are generally given real stock grants upon employment, and gradually as time goes by.

Only in the same sense that tax cuts benefits everyone. While technically true, the benefits disproportionately go towards those who are already better off.

They disproportionately go to people that pay taxes. One could argue taxes disproportionately affect people that make more because they pay higher marginal rates.

A person making $200k pays a higher percentage than someone making $50k. So by definition, those making more are disproportionately affected by taxes. The government keeps more of every dollar earned from someone making more money. Not sure how that is fair. If we want fairness, everyone pays an identical rate. Making more money doesn’t mean I use more dramatically more government, so why should I pay a higher rate than people who make less? A flat tax is fair and doesn’t punish success (or failure.)

> Not sure how that is fair.

Because the more money you make, the greater your ability to earn and retain that money (or the equivalent value) is dependent on the governnent and it's provision of law; in societies without substantial government, there either isn't much concentration of wealth or the people who start to gain some wealth end up spending a considerable share of it becoming a government just to protect their ability to concentrate wealth.

> A flat tax is fair and doesn’t punish success

Any tax with a marginal rate below 100% doesn't punish success.

Except this is completely off topic from the article.

> Apple is still largely using its vast resources to enrich investors, not workers.

Every company is trying to enrich investors. That's how capitalism works

"Job footprint" is a nice weaselly phrase, evoking "employees" and not actually meaning employees.

Actually I think it's totally transparent.

Employees means employees. "Footprint" is widely used to mean total effect at all levels removed, not just the immediate one -- e.g. carbon footprint is the carbon used by all suppliers and their suppliers and so on, not just in final assembly.

And it's meaningful too -- if Apple suddenly shut up shop, this is the total number of US workers who could be affected (although not necessarily laid off).

What else would you call it?

How would you call it? It was clear enough to me :)

I mean, where does this stop, does it include people who sell accessories for the iPhone?

Sure it does. If you continue down the chain, the contribution share declines. The company or person selling $0.99 stickers specifically for iPhones, isn't contributing much to the footprint and isn't particularly relevant to the numbers, however they are part of the footprint regardless. You wouldn't focus on that contribution because it is very obviously small, which is not the same as it not existing at all.

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