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Apple has reportedly made the decision to cut a small number of corporate retail employees that are on its development and preservation teams. According to a report from Bloomberg, the employees in question handle the construction and upkeep of Apple retail locations worldwide. While it’s unclear how many positions will be affected by the move, Bloomberg suggests that the cuts will likely be “very small”.
This is the first known report of Apple culling its internal workforce to cut spending. Previously, in June 2022, the company laid off up to 100 contractors that handled recruiting, but contractors are not full-time workers. Apple has also cut engineers and security guards that held contracting roles.
Apple has told employees that these are not layoffs, but rather a streamlining effort aimed at improving the upkeep of stores globally. The affected employees will have the option to reapply for positions similar to their prior job, and those who do not take on a new role could receive up to four months of pay.
This decision comes after Apple paused hiring for most jobs outside of research and development in November, and expanded the hiring freeze in March of this year. The slowdown in hiring has allowed Apple to avoid the widespread layoffs that other tech companies have announced in recent months.
In contrast, Twitter has eliminated thousands of employees following the takeover by Elon Musk, and last month, Facebook announced plans to lay off approximately 10,000 employees. Microsoft cut its AI ethics team in March following several prior layoff events, and Google parent company Alphabet laid off 12,000 employees in January.
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While the number of positions being cut at Apple may be small, it highlights the current climate of uncertainty and cost-cutting measures being implemented by tech companies across the board. As companies continue to grapple with the ongoing effects of the pandemic and changing market dynamics, it remains to be seen how these decisions will impact both employees and consumers in the long term.