Apple's Claims Of Creating 500,000 Jobs May Be Overblown

Remember that UPS truck driver that delivered your iPad? Apple wants credit for the creation of that job.

The world's most valuable company released a study last week claiming that it's supported more than 500,000 jobs. The report, commissioned by Apple and completed by the Analysis Group, found that the company indirectly or directly created more than 300,000 jobs in the U.S. and supports more than 200,000 jobs through the app economy -- including factory employees that manufacture glass for its iPods and iPads and the UPS and FedEx drivers that deliver the devices.

The problem? That may not exactly be true. Though Apple certainly adds jobs in the U.S. and abroad, it's unlikely the company did so at the rate it claims or at a pace as high as many other technology companies, according to CBS News columnist Erik Sherman. In addition, economist David Autor called the company's direct and indirect job creation claims "disreputable" in an e-mail to The New York Times, because it's hard to tell if many of the workers would have had jobs with other companies anyway.

And Apple's not alone in making dubious job creation claims. Facebook has been estimated to have created more than 200,000 jobs. Apple's rival, Microsoft, touted a report Monday that indicates cloud computing will create 14 million jobs by 2015.

This isn't the first time in recent weeks Apple has taken heat for labor-related issues. Foxconn, one of the major manufacturers of Apple's products, has come under fire for working conditions in its Chinese factories. In addition, the company has been criticized for outsourcing jobs instead of hiring workers at home.

Even if Apple's claims of U.S. job creation are overblown, the company is still at the forefront of an industry that's fueled intense job growth. The move from 2G to 3G technologies created 1.5 million jobs, according to a January study from two economists cited by Bloomberg. In addition, the "app economy" has created 500,000 jobs since 2007, according to the Atlantic.

Still, demand for jobs that drive said app economy may be tapering out, though employers are still poaching workers with certain engineering skill sets, Bloomberg reports.