Economists weigh in on Apple’s U.S. job creation claims

“Apple has made its first attempt to quantify how many American jobs can be credited to the sale of its iPads and other products, a group that includes the Apple engineers who design the devices and the drivers who deliver them — even the people who build the trucks that get them there,” Nick Wingfield reports for The New York Times. “On Friday, the company published the results of a study it commissioned saying that it had ‘created or supported’ 514,000 American jobs. The study is an effort to show that Apple’s benefit to the American job market goes far beyond the 47,000 people it directly employs here.”

“The accuracy of the Apple jobs calculation in the United States may well be debated among economists for years. ‘Apple has a big effect, and big is about as precise as I can make it,’ said Gary P. Pisano, a professor of business administration at Harvard Business School. ‘It’s hard to say the exact size,'” Wingfield reports. “David Autor, an economics professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, said via e-mail that the ‘entire business of claiming ‘direct and indirect’ job creation is disreputable’ because most of the workers Apple is taking credit for would have been employed elsewhere in the company’s absence. ‘But of course, they might not have been as well paid or gratified with their work,’ Mr. Autor said. “We’ll never know.”

Wingfield reports, “Mr. Autor also said that Apple should not be held accountable for employment problems in the United States. ‘Generating the conditions that give rise to high rates of employment and wage growth is the domain of policy makers, not individual companies,’ he said.”

Read more in the full article here.

Related articles:
514,000 U.S. jobs created thanks to Apple Inc. – March 2, 2012
Launched by Apple, ‘App Economy’ has created 466,000 jobs in the U.S. alone since 2008 – February 7, 2012
Apple and the American economy – January 24, 2012
Apple, Steve Jobs, Obama, America and a squeezed middle class – January 21, 2012
How Rick Santorum would lure Apple to move assembly from China to Charleston – January 21, 2012
Apple’s real market value: How many U.S. jobs it creates – November 21, 2011
iOS developer salaries skyrocket – November 9, 2011
How many U.S. jobs has Apple’s iPod created? – July 8, 2011


  1. The entire business of claiming ‘direct and indirect’ job creation is disreputable because most of the workers Obama is attempting to take credit for would have been employed elsewhere in the absence of so-called “stimulus.” But of course, they might not have been drawing taxpayer-funded government paychecks, and instead be doing something useful. – Rush Limbaugh

    1. Wow…there’s a valid source who economic prowess is accepted by….who? I’d hardly quote a gifted comedian with economic theories.
      On the other hand, long held theories of Supply Side, Monetarism, Keynesian, Rational Expectation, Classical and Marginalist may have to give way to the clown’s theories in the world of the imagination.

      1. Karl Marx is credited with much modern economic theory, and he proposed violent revolution. Which is a nice way to say he advocated and justified mass murder.

        If the worst you can say about Limbaugh is that he’s a comedian then by all means I’ll take it. It just tells me you don’t take seriously any ideas from people you disagree with. In other words you are closed minded.

        Which of course says far more about you than it says about Mr. Limbaugh.

          1. There’s a certain split personality in how Rush wants to be described at any one point in time and indeed how the GOP wants to describe him.

            Let’s also remember that Michael Steele referred to Limbaugh as an “entertainer” with an “incendiary” talk show in March 2009. And then – 48 hours later – Steele apologised and acknowledged him as a “national conservative leader”.

            Steele isn’t the only GOP leadership figure or politician that has had to apologise to Rush over the last five years or so.

            But it’s interesting that, whenever he wants to weasel out from under a controversy, he starts to claim that he is more of a satirist/comedian/entertainer (attempting to be the mirror image of Colbert) rather than the bigoted carnival barker that he is for 99% of his ‘shows’.

            After the controversy regarding his remarks on Fluke last Wednesday, he immediately ‘doubled-down’; in other words, he didn’t care about the offence that he’d caused until it started to cost Premiere in terms of national advertisers.

            What it proves is that it is possible to make Rush apologise so long as the price is right. Which kind of makes him a prostitute.

        1. Rush Limbaugh’s recent disgusting comments on his radio show are only the latest examples of how morally and intellectually bankrupt he is. Anyone who takes him seriously or who would use anything he utters to bolster their conservative viewpoints is beyond a complete idiot.

        2. His own mother stated he was a flunkie, so yeah, he is not a qualified economist.

          “Limbaugh began his career in radio as a teenager in 1967 in his hometown of Cape Girardeau, using the name Rusty Sharpe.[4][6] Limbaugh graduated from Cape Girardeau, Missouri Central High School, in 1969. Because of his parents’ desire to see him attend college, he enrolled in Southeast Missouri State University but left the school after two semesters and one summer. According to his mother, “he flunked everything”, and “he just didn’t seem interested in anything except radio”

    2. to: First 2010…

      Tell me please, how you will respond on this forum when Obama trounces his Republican challenger (whichever clown that turns out to be) in the fall. Ironically, your hero Rush is nicely helping along to bring that result.

      1. He’ll create a new account called “First 2014, then 2016”.

        Like a broken clock, at some point he’ll be right.

        Actually, my preference would be for his head to implode.

        I would say explode. But that would imply that there is something in his head and I’m more willing to believe that neutrinos can travel faster than light than that possibility.

    3. Your understanding of economics and job creation leave much to be desired. This has nothing to do with Obama, stimulus or anything else political. You can not assume that jobs would be created “anyway”.

    4. Mr. Rush Limbaugh is a political commentator. He only refers to himself as an entertainer or comedian when he is trapped in his own lies and hatred as in the latest case of the law student testifying before congress regarding contraception. You can be against contraception (your own right). But to call out someone as a “slut” is vile and more disgusting than any of the policies he is attempting to vilify.

  2. Okay well if these people would have been employed elsewhere, would those jobs not still exist? Meaning perhaps they are now open and ready to be filled?

  3. The New York Times article is rather silly – they claim that Apple has never contributed any jobs to the economy.

    Well – they do not put it exactly that way – but their article practically says it outright.

  4. American policy makers are too busy ensuring the continuation of the current wealth and power structure to see beyond the ends of their hopelessly short peckers.

    Once you kill the goose that lays the golden eggs, no more golden eggs.

  5. … and don’t forget to count the number of analysts, bloggers, professors and journalists that make a living from talking nonsense about Apple.

    1. Yes, there is a ripple effect that goes a long ways, as the guy says “big” is about as precise as you can get. Actiually, given the present administration’s current practice of equating jobs “saved” and jobs “created”, which seems to fly under the radar in most reports, I’m inclined to give Apple a bit of slack with regard to jobs “supported”. It is the job of policy makers to create the circumstances for employment, and instead they are scapegoating their own failures.

  6. ‘Generating the conditions that give rise to high rates of employment and wage growth is the domain of policy makers, not individual companies,’

    That’s pure BS. It’s like saying that policy makers are solely responsible for recessions.

    Totally ignoring those individual companies that actually create the jobs most of the time at their own expense/risk.

      1. The free market does create all jobs.
        Government creates no jobs and it cannot because of the fact that it has 0$ that are not first created by the efforts and taxes paid by free market people.
        Government can take money from those people, which it does have an obligation to do for valid purposes like defense, roads, postal service, limited assistance to the poor, etc. But that is just redistribution of value created by individual people and companies in the free market.

        In doing so, it cannot claim that it “created” anything, just moved it, so to speak. And not always by legal and proper means.

        Does that mean that I am saying that those companies and people do not at times do improper things? Of course not, don’t waste my time with a reply of: “Yeah well, evil corporations do it to, so there!” Don’t bother, we know that. Pointing out the bad behavior of others does not justify it for you or me.

        Have an nice day.

  7. ‘But of course, they might not have been as well paid or gratified with their work,’ Mr. Autor said. “We’ll never know.”

    I’ll bet that Mr Autor is well paid and gratified with his work, after all he works in the socialist shelter of academia.

      1. Yes, that leftist slime ball Gutenberg with his accursed printing press let the cat out of the bag, and monarchy and religion have never been the same since. Oh for the good old days when ignorance was bliss and we peons looked up to the shining examples set by our noble, and filthy rich, leaders.

  8. The best government can do is ensure public safety and punish criminality. Unfortunately, the Obama regime is more interested in public funding of his campaign supporters under the guise of “stimulus packages”. The Democrats have unabashedly taxed the American citizen to fund their own nefarious plans of achieving greater control of all aspects of civil and social activities. It is obvious that the vast majority of jobs directly attributable to Obama are in government and not in private.

  9. It’s common sense that Apple has created or enhanced an incalculable number of jobs- no need to count to verify this fact. Apple is responsible for my graduating from miserable account clerk to Mac Support Tech, and lately “Electronic Musician.” Real instruments, Abbey Road technology. Thank you, Apple. (Wouldn’t bother if it were Windows.)

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