No, Apple did not fire 1,600 retail store employees

“Question of the day: Did Apple somehow lay off 10 percent of its retail staff in the last quarter without anyone noticing until today? Answer: No,” Peter Kafka reports for AllThingsD.

Kafka reports, “My bloggy brethren are hopped up about Apple’s disclosure, via its most recent quarterly filing with the SEC, that its retail group had ‘approximately 14,000 full-time equivalent employees’ at the end of March. A year ago, that number had been 15,600.”

Kafka reports, “But let’s be clear: Those aren’t 14,000, or 15,600, employees. Those are 14,000, or 15,600 ‘full-time equivalents’–basically, an accounting term that measures the number of man-hours Apple is paying for, not the number of men (or women) it employs. So the very strong likelihood here is that Apple cut a lot of workers’ hours, but not workers themselves.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: We’ve done something that may well be unprecedented in modern “journalism” – we looked it up. Apple’s SEC 10-Q filing, dated May 1, 2008, clearly and unequivocally stated, “As of March 29, 2008, the Retail segment had approximately 12,000 full-time equivalent employees.” 14,000 today – 12,000 a year ago = 2,000 new employees! Okay, “full-time equivalents” or “man-hours,” whatever.

The point is the same as we made earlier today: Those 15,900 (yes, 15,900, not 15,600; we looked that up, too!) man-hours that were used to concoct this non-story were reported by Apple in their SEC 10-K filed on November 5, 2008. In other words, as we wrote this morning:

[The cuts were] in retail. After Christmas. Meaning holiday staff, as usual, did not continue past the holidays. Also in the same 10-Q filing, conversely, Apple increased R&D headcount in the current year to support expanded R&D activities, but did not provide a hard figure, perhaps in order to protect that information from competitors. We predict that these facts will not be present in many (if any) other media outlets’ news stories about this issue.

Seriously, if this is the best the Apple haters can drum up, Apple shares will be back above $200 before you know it.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Robert S.” for the heads up.]

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