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Apple lays off nearly 100 contractual workers as recession looms

Apple lays off nearly 100 contractual workers as recession looms
Photo Credit: Pixabay
16 Aug, 2022
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American tech giant Apple has reportedly laid-off many of its contract-based recruiters in the past week as the company is looking to "limit expenditures at some of its divisions".

"About 100 contract workers were let go," people with knowledge of the matter told Bloomberg, suggesting that a slowdown is underway at the company. The downsizing was reportedly made owing to the changes in company’s current business needs. The company currently employs more than 150,000 people.

A July report from Bloomberg also mentioned that the company is 'slowing down on hiring in 2023 to cope with a potential economic downturn and limit certain expenditure'. It, however, added that “the changes won’t affect every team, but some groups won’t see increased staff next year and some positions won’t be backfilled” without sharing more details.  

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During Apple’s earnings conference call, CEO Tim Cook had also confirmed that the company would be more “deliberate” in its spending — even as it keeps investing in some areas. 

“We believe in investing through the downturn. And so we’ll continue to hire people and invest in areas, but we are being more deliberate in doing so in recognition of the realities of the environment," Cook told analysts. 

Other tech companies that have either laid off employees or slowed hiring in the current economic downturn include LinkedIn, Meta, Oracle, Twitter, Nvidia, Snap, Uber, Spotify, Intel and Salesforce, among others. 

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A source also told the news site that Apple is still retaining recruiters who are full-time employees, and not all of its contractors were fired as part of the move. 

Terminated contractors were told they would receive pay and medical benefits for two weeks. Recruiters were let go across many regions, including at Apple’s offices in Texas and Singapore, according to Bloomberg. 

Apple previously fired around 300 contract workers in 2019 in Cork, Ireland. At the time, the company had been relying on several hundred contractors to listen to recordings of Siri conversations to help improve the product. But in response to increased privacy threats, Apple had to scale down and let workers go. The company also fired some contractors while working on the Apple Park campus in 2015. 

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Like many other companies, Apple employs contract workers for tasks such as technical support and customer service. It also uses contractors for localising products and improving its services. Contract workers typically receive fewer benefits than full-time workers and have fewer protections. 

Meanwhile, Apple has informed that its employees are expected to return to the office three days per week starting September 5, according to a report by The Verge. “Employees will come in Tuesdays, Thursdays, and a day set by individual teams,” it said. 

Last year in June, Apple first announced its hybrid work model, which met with criticisms and protests from employees. This, and the ensuing pandemic situation, further prompted the tech major to delay its hybrid work model. 

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