Apple Lays Off Exactly 619 Workers

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In a sign that the press will write about anything that involves Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL), the fact that it laid off 619 workers received unusual attention. In California, companies must file a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification when they have a “plant closing or mass layoff.” The rule also says that employees must receive 60 days notice.

There was speculation that the downsizing, tiny for a company Apple’s size, was tied to the company’s decision not to build a car. CNBC reported, “The filing comes weeks after Apple canceled a long-running project to build an electric, self-driving car in a team called the Special Projects Group.” Were the two events related? There is no evidence that they are.

The media continues to be hungry for negative news about Apple. Its failure to continue working on an electric vehicle garnered a huge amount of press coverage. So did news that Apple’s China sales fell by double-digit percentages in the early weeks of this year. (Here Is How Much Money Apple Makes Every Minute.)

Much of the press related to Apple has focused on its need for an obvious path to becoming a major force in artificial intelligence. A recent rumor had Apple joining Alphabet to help both tech giants not appear to be failures because they needed to match the AI success of Nvidia or Microsoft.

Apple’s tiny layoffs may only be based on creating efficiency in a modest part of its businesses. And middle management may have made the decision. In other words, in the scheme of things, little has happened, except to those who were let go.

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