Greg Linden, Jason Dedrick and Kenneth L. Kraemer [are] a troika of scholars who have made a careful study in a pair of recent papers of how the iPod has created jobs and profits around the world,” Chrystia Freeland reports for Reuters. “The latest paper, ‘Innovation and Job Creation in a Global Economy: The Case of Apple’s iPod,’ was published last month in The Journal of International Commerce and Economics.”
“One of their findings is that in 2006 the iPod employed nearly twice as many people outside the United States as it did in the country where it was invented — 13,920 in the United States, and 27,250 abroad,” Freeland reports. “You don’t need to read the iPod study to know that a lot of those overseas workers are in China. But, given how large China currently looms in the U.S. psyche, it is worth noting that fewer than half of the foreign iPod jobs — 12,270 — are in the Middle Kingdom. An additional 4,750 are in the Philippines, which, with a population of just 102 million compared with China’s 1.3 billion, has in relative terms been a much bigger beneficiary of Mr. Jobs’s genius.”
“Now come what might be the surprises. The first is that even though most of the iPod jobs are outside the United States, the lion’s share of the iPod salaries are in America. Those 13,920 American workers earned nearly $750 million. By contrast, the 27,250 non-American Apple employees took home less than $320 million,” Freeland reports. “That disparity is even more significant when you look at the composition of America’s iPod workforce. More than half the U.S. jobs — 7,789 — went to retail and other nonprofessional workers, like office support staff and freight and distribution workers. But those workers earned just $220 million.”
“Here in microcosm is why America is so ambivalent about globalization and the technology revolution. The populist fear that even America’s most brilliant innovations are creating more jobs abroad than they are at home is clearly true,” Freeland reports. “In fact, the reality may be even grimmer than the Tea Party realizes, since more than half the American iPod jobs are relatively poorly paid and low-skilled.”
“But America has winners, too: the engineers and other American professionals who work for Apple, whose healthy paychecks are partly due to the bottom-line benefit the company gains from cheap foreign labor. Apple’s shareholders have done even better,” Freeland reports. “In the first of their pair of iPod papers, published in 2009, Mr. Linden, Mr. Dedrick and Mr. Kraemer found that the largest share of financial value created by the iPod went to Apple. Even though the devices are made in China, the financial value added there is ‘very low.'”
Much, much more in the full article – recommended – here.
Ryan Avent writes for The Economist, “All Apple has done has put thousands of people to work making products consumers love. We can look at Apple and ask why it hasn’t created jobs in the way Detroit did decades ago, but that’s a stupid question. Detroit’s employment machine depended on a set of technologies and prices that vanished long ago. We can have those technologies and prices back if we want, but we have to give up Apple—and many of the luxuries we now take for granted, not to mention a healthy chunk of current incomes.”
“The question is not why Apple doesn’t employ more Americans,” Avent writes. “The question is why there aren’t more Apples.”
Full article – recommended – here.
[Attribution: TIME Magazine. Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Fred Mertz” for the heads up.]