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Apple finally cuts jobs, showing it’s not immune to economic woes

The news: Apple is eliminating jobs within its corporate retail teams, marking the first layoffs at the company since it began its focus on austerity, per Bloomberg.

Why it's worth watching: Apple was the one Big Tech company to largely avoid job cuts, resorting instead to hiring freezes and reducing its contract recruiters and engineers.

The company is terminating a handful of positions in its development and preservation teams—which are responsible for the construction and upkeep of Apple Retail Stores and other company facilities.

  • Apple told employees that the changes were designed to improve upkeep of stores globally and that the company will provide support to affected workers, including as much as four months of pay.
  • Retrenched employees can reapply for a number of roles similar to their prior jobs but with reduced salaries.

The bigger picture: Despite the recent layoffs, Apple, which had 164,000 employees as of September, still remains resilient compared with all other Big Tech companies that have reduced headcount by tens of thousands. 

  • Apple didn’t expand its workforce as quickly as other tech behemoths during the pandemic.
  • The majority of Apple’s production takes place in China, India, and Vietnam, where the company relies on partners like Foxconn and its factories.

Tech companies have laid off more than 186,000 employees (including Accenture’s announced 19,000 layoffs) so far this year, surpassing 2022’s total of 164,411 tech layoffs, per 

Zooming out: Meanwhile, layoffs continue to gut the technology sector, even as we’re starting to see recovery buoyed by Big Tech stocks.

Our take: How technology companies enact layoffs and cut costs during economic uncertainty is a yardstick of their management, resilience, and company structure. 

Apple’s decentralized nature and its conservative hiring practices have enabled it to hold on to key employees longer. 

This article originally appeared in Insider Intelligence's Connectivity & Tech Briefing—a daily recap of top stories reshaping the technology industry. Subscribe to have more hard-hitting takeaways delivered to your inbox daily.