Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) and approximately 300 other major companies have pledged to avoid discriminating against job applicants who have been out of work for a long period of time, reports the New York Times. The anti-discrimination hiring pledge was suggested by President Obama, who recently hosted a group of business executives at the White House. According to White House officials cited by the New York Times, twenty-one of the country’s fifty largest companies have adopted Obama’s initiative.
Although it is unknown if Apple had previously taken steps to prevent discrimination against the long-term unemployed, the company has a history of implementing employment policies to combat other types of discrimination. For example, Apple CEO Tim Cook is a vocal supporter of the Employment Nondiscrimination Act (or, ENDA). ENDA seeks to end employment discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender workers.
According to studies cited by New York Times, workers who have been unemployed for over six months rarely receive responses from the companies that they apply to. “Folks who’ve been unemployed the longest often have the toughest time getting back to work,” noted Obama per the New York Times. “It’s a cruel catch-22 — the longer you’re unemployed, the more unemployable you may seem. Now this is an illusion, but it’s one that, unfortunately, we know statistically is happening out there.
“Just because you’ve been out of work for a while does not mean that you are not a hard worker,” added Obama. “Just means you had bad luck or you were in the wrong industry or you lived in a region of the country that’s catching up a little slower than others in the recovery.”
According to Apple, the company directly employs 50,250 workers in the U.S. and indirectly creates another 257,000 jobs at other companies. Apple has full-time employees in all fifty states. The iPhone maker also supports 291.250 iOS app economy jobs in the U.S. and has paid a total of $9 billion to developers from App Store sales.
Although Apple still manufactures the majority of its products overseas, it has recently made moves to bring some manufacturing jobs back to the U.S. by having the Mac Pro built exclusively at a facility in Austin, Texas. “It’s a big deal but we think we can do more,” Cook told ABC News in a recent interview.
Besides getting hundreds of companies to agree to revamp their hiring practices, Obama also signed an executive memorandum that instructs the federal government not to discriminate against the unemployed in its own hiring practices. According to statistics cited by the New York Times, almost four million Americans are classified as long-term unemployed.
Here’s how Apple traded on Friday.
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