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Financial News

Why have there been no mass layoffs at Apple so far?

With companies across the tech sector announcing layoffs, Apple stands apart as one firm that has yet to declare any such intention.

Update:
With companies across the tech sector announcing layoffs, Apple stands apart as one firm that has yet to declare any such intention.
BloombergGetty

Unlike other major tech companies, Apple has stood apart as one firm not announcing mass layoffs.

In October, the company announced that in the fourth quarter of 2022, which ended on 24 September, it recorded $90.1 billion in revenue, up eight percent from the year priors.

When speaking to investors, CEO Tim Cook said the “results reflect Apple’s commitment to our customers, to the pursuit of innovation, and to leaving the world better than we found it.” Cook was also confident that the holiday season would allow for continued financial success, noting that their offer to consumers represented the “most powerful lineup ever.”

Apple did not grow its workforce at the same rate as its competitors

Apple, like other countries, did increase hiring during the pandemic, moving from 137,000 employees in 2019 to 164,000 in 2022, representing a nineteen percent boost in the size of their labor force. However, herein lies the difference between Apple and many of its competitors. From 2016 to 2019, the workforce at Apple grew by eighteen percent, showing that the pace at which Apple hired was not that far removed from its historic trends.

Microsoft announced it would lay off at least 10,000 workers over the coming months. Since 2019, the company’s workforce has grown forty-three percent in the United States. This is almost ten percent higher than the growth seen by the company from 2016 to 2019, which clocked in at around thirty-four percent.

Layoffs keep coming from the tech sector’s largest players

Amazon, Meta, and Google’s parent company Alphabet grew their staff at levels more similar to Microsoft and announced thousands of layoffs.

Amazon began notifying the 18,000 employees whose jobs are to be eliminated on 18 January. CEO Andy Jassy defended the decision saying, “companies that last a long time go through different phases” and that they cannot be in “heavy people expansion mode every year.” The statement is a bit frightening if the only two options are “expansion” and layoff mode. The statement includes no mentions of executives making a mistake by increasing hiring so rapidly and instead focuses on the need to stay scrappy and ready to react to new market conditions.

Until the announcements turn into action by company leaders by beginning to notify those who will lose their jobs, this information will not be reported to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. With that so it remains unclear the overall impact this latest wave of layoffs will have on the unemployment rate. In March, the agency will report data on layoffs from January. At that juncture, economists and policymakers will be able to see if these business decisions lead to a stark increase in the unemployment rate or if the hot labor market allows these workers to be easily moved into new roles.

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