In this report:
- Apple job listings rebounded for the first time since February
- The company began removing - and reposting - listings en masse in April
- New job listings are heavily focused on retail around the world
- Engineering and manufacturing jobs in Austin and China have ticked up, respectively
While it would be way too early to declare any sort of rebound for tech jobs based on one company's hiring patterns for three days, it is worth reporting that the number of job openings at Apple ($AAPL) not only stopped tumbling last week, but it began a very quiet — and subtle — rebound over the past three business days.
In February 2020, the number of job listings posted to Apple's "Jobs at Apple" site hit it an all-time high. But then the Coronavirus global pandemic put a stop to hiring for most divisions at Apple. Job listings during the pandemic fell from 5,943 in February to 4,918 by May 14.
But something interesting happened on May 15, 16, and 17: the number of openings at Apple ticket up. To be clear, we're talking small numbers here: on May 15, the job-listing count rose to 4,920, By Sunday, May 17, the total number of openings at Apple hit 4,927.
While this isn't a clear sign of rebound, it could be an early sign that Apple has removed the job openings it doesn't plan to fill while its teams work from home, and has even begun adding new ones during this new remote-work environment.
The number of new jobs being posted to jobs.apple.com began spiking daily in the past month, in what appears to be a massive listing replacement effort on the part of Apple HR.
On April 16, for instance, more than 2,500 new job listings were posted to jobs.apple.com. But the following day, just 73 were posted. Of course, that was in the middle of slumping overall listings for Apple, a clear indication that the company was replacing old, pre-pandemic listings with new ones.
This change in job postings at Apple has been largely focused on new retail positions. Since April 1, the vast majority of new jobs posted to jobs.apple.com have been tagged in the "Retail" category.
The trend matches the fact that Apple is re-opening stores around the world. Over the weekend, the company posted a letter to customers outlining how it will determine when and how to re-open retail stores, including social distancing measures, face-covering requirements, and temperature checks. It encourages customers to check if local stores are open at its "Find a Store" search tool, which is already showing stores open in Mainland China.
That all doesn't mean that Apple isn't drumming up corporate and engineering job listings. Postings by location in the past few days have been led by Austin, Texas, and Beijing, China, where the company has large engineering and manufacturing teams. However, given the new details about retail openings, recent upticks in local job listings may hint at where Apple will open up next.
About the Data:
Thinknum tracks companies using the information they post online - jobs, social and web traffic, product sales and app ratings - and creates data sets that measure factors like hiring, revenue and foot traffic. Data sets may not be fully comprehensive (they only account for what is available on the web), but they can be used to gauge performance factors like staffing and sales.