Apple Touts U.S. Job Creation, Says App Store Sales Rose 50%

Apple Inc., which has faced criticism for manufacturing its computing devices overseas instead of in the U.S., is putting a number to the jobs it has created or supported at home: 1.03 million.

Applications designed for Apple’s smartphones and tablets have helped create more than 627,000 U.S. jobs, while 334,000 jobs have resulted from its spending and growth, and 66,000 people work directly for the company in the U.S., Apple said today on its website. Revenue generated through its App Store rose 50 percent to a record in 2014, Apple said.

“Apple ignited the app revolution with the launch of the App Store in 2008,” the company said. “Since then, an entire industry has been built around app design and development.” In 2013, customers spent more than $10 billion in the App Store.

Apple touted its employment figures in advance of the U.S. Labor Department releasing data tomorrow that may show private payrolls climbed by 228,000 workers last month, according to the median projection of economists surveyed by Bloomberg.

Apple, which until the late 1990s made and assembled many products in the U.S., shifted manufacturing to Asia to take advantage of the region’s lower labor costs. As he faced criticism about the large numbers of people employed overseas by Apple’s suppliers to build iPhones and iPads, Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook has worked in the past few years to boost U.S. manufacturing and open domestic data centers. For example, Apple invested more than $100 million to begin Mac Pro assembly in Austin, Texas.

Retail Stores

The company said it has 265 retail stores in 44 states with a total of 30,000 employees. That’s compared with 250 stores and 26,000 retail workers in 2012. It has 8,000 U.S.-based suppliers with materials coming from 31 states, the company said, and Apple spent more than $3 billion with U.S. suppliers running small or diverse businesses last year.

The last time Apple released its estimate for job creation, in 2012, it pegged the number at 598,500 in the U.S. The company reported having 50,250 U.S. jobs at the time.

The sustained demand for apps sets the stage for Cook’s entry this year into smartwatches, which also will use programs downloadable from Apple’s online store. The Apple Watch is part of Cook’s effort to move into new devices as sales growth moderates for the company’s iPhone and iPad.

IPhone sales may have risen to 69.3 million units in the quarter that ended in December, compared with 51 million a year earlier, according to an estimate from Steven Milunovich, a UBS AG analyst, in a note to investors yesterday.

‘App Economy’

The mobile-computing ability of the iPhone helped Hotel Tonight Inc., started in 2011, create its app-based business that lets users book rooms from a smartphone, CEO Sam Shank said.

“This is a business that couldn’t have existed had it not been for the app economy,” Shank said in an interview. The company now has 150 employees with offices worldwide, including in San Francisco, London, Berlin and Paris, he said.

Apps generated more than $10 billion in revenue for developers in 2014, the company said today in an e-mailed statement. Developers have earned a total of $25 billion from the sale of apps and games on the App Store, Apple said.

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