Contrary to Popular Belief, Apple Employs and Empowers America’s Working Class

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Trump’s ascendancy was fueled in significant part by populist resentment against globalization and the outsourcing of jobs abroad. He has even promised to “get Apple to start making their computers and their iPhones on our land, not in China”.

However, there are a lot of reasons why American manufacturing won’t be easy to resurrect, including the looming threat of a trade war with China and the rise of automation. If Apple were to start building iPhones in the US, they would certainly cost more than they already do, and because of that, it’s highly unlikely that Cupertino will voluntarily migrate factories back to American soil. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that Apple is an American company that has neglected American workers.

A recent New York Times article pushes back against this notion, noting that in addition to the 80,000 Americans it directly employs, Apple’s technology supply chain includes 69 facilities in 33 states that build parts for its popular products. Its sprawling iOS ecosystem also supports hundreds of thousands of app developers.

One notable example of Apple’s expansion of non-manufacturing, service-related jobs in America is its 1.1-million-square-foot campus in Austin, Texas, a state that went ‘red’ in the presidential election.

6,000 people, up from 2,100 seven years ago, work in the complex, troubleshooting logistical problems that involve everything from managing suppliers to ensuring timely iPhone delivery to retailers. They also help manage finances and oversee the iTunes store and the App store.

Apple’s Austin-based technical support team, which fields thousands of calls per day, also provides opportunities for people without college degrees to find jobs with generous benefits and opportunities for advancement.

In a statement to the NYT, Apple noted: “We made the unique decision to keep and expand our contact centers for customers in the Americas in the United States, and Austin is home to many of those employees. We plan to continue to invest and grow across the U.S.”

Do you agree that Apple empowers the American working class?
Let us know why or why not in the comments below.

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