Apple has introduced a new website that puts a number on its economic impact.
The site, which premiered on Wednesday, says the company has created 80,000 U.S. jobs directly. In addition, the company says it has created 450,000 jobs at third-party suppliers and another 1.53 million jobs in the “App Store ecosystem.”
Overall, Apple says it has created more than 2 million jobs.
Apple says the point of the site is to show how the company positively impacts the economy. But it might also help the company counter complaints that it doesn’t pay enough taxes and thus, doesn’t do enough to support the U.S. economy.
Apple’s math for supplier employees includes people who work at more than 9,000 suppliers in 38 states. Most of those people work in manufacturing, but the number also includes retail employees, construction workers, and financial services professionals.
Still, it can be difficult to directly attribute Apple’s activities to a particular job at a third-party company. Absent Apple, it’s technically possible those people would still have a job.
To calculate its data, Apple cited a study by research firm Analysis Group, which analyzed the amount the company spent on goods and services in the U.S. last year. It then applied that information to employment data collected by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.
The practice, while not an exact science, is a generally accepted method for determining a company’s impact. Information on a company’s spending is applied to multipliers for calculating both direct and indirect effects on jobs.
For its developer “ecosystem” data, Apple cited Dr. Michael Mandel at the Progressive Policy Institute, whose research, the “US App Economy,” provides insight into how both Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android operating systems impact the economy. The study looks at developer jobs created at third-party companies, online job postings for software developers, and the money people spend on mobile devices.
To further illustrate its point, Apple shared additional information about developers. Most notably, the company said that U.S. developers have earned more than $16 billion from the App Store since 2008.
“The numbers tell the story,” Apple said on its new site, adding that the company is “just getting started.”