NYT: Staffing at Foxconn iPhone factory down 30%

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From Ailin Tang’s “Apple Takes a Hit in China, and Workers There Feel the Pain” in Saturday’s New York Times.

In the Chinese city of Zhengzhou, employment at a vast factory that makes iPhones has fallen to about 70,000 from the already low pre-Lunar New Year level of more than 100,000 a year ago, according to China Labor Watch, which tracks working conditions and speaks to workers in China.

In a statement, the Zhengzhou factory’s owner, the Taiwanese electronics supplier Foxconn, declined to comment directly on the group’s figures but said it was constantly reviewing its operations and planned to add more than 50,000 positions across China in the first three months of the year.

My take: These are stunning numbers. Not the changes down and up (who really knows what they mean?), but the sheer number of Chinese hands it takes to assemble these things.