Apple says its iOS app economy created 80,000 US jobs last year

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Apple has come under heavy fire in recent years by critics for outsourcing its manufacturing jobs to Asia. Folks don’t like the fact that while the US struggles with unemployment, it pays Chinese factory workers to build its products just to save a few dollars.

In response to the criticism, Apple posted a new page on its website last year touting the more than 500,000 jobs it’s either created or supported in the US with its business. In fact, according to its records, its app economy alone created 80,000 jobs last year…

As noted by AppleInsider, Apple has updated its ‘Job Creation’ page to reflect the 86,000 or so new US jobs it was responsible for creating in 2012. 3,000 of those jobs were direct-hires by Apple, and more than 80,000 were related to building software for iOS.

With more than 800,000 apps now in Apple’s mobile marketplace, the App Store continues to grow at a staggering pace. Apple says its app economy has added nearly 300,000 jobs to the US economy since 2007, and it’s paid more than $8 billion out to developers.

Of course, the business of app-making is extremely finicky. You could spend weeks or even months building an application, and not make a single dollar from it. Or, like some folks, you could become an overnight millionaire. Either way, there’s an asterisk next to that number.

But Apple’s not stopping there. Last year, Tim Cook announced a $100 million company initiative to bring some manufacturing back to the United States. And it’s already begun; earlier this year it listed a California-based Quanta Computer plant as an assembler.