If there was ever any question as to whether or not a company's hiring activity is indicative of its path to success, this latest data based on Apple's ($AAPL) job openings, over time, should put some doubts to rest.

Since we began tracking Apple hiring activity in 2016, job openings at the tech giant are at their highest level yet with 5,540. Meanwhile, Apple stock prices are at their highest level yet as well. While comparing two peaks does not equal causation, in the case of Apple, slowdowns in stock price also predicted hiring slowdowns. Stick with us and see the data below.

What we see here is hiring activity trends compared to those of stock prices for AAPL. In Apple's case, it appears as though stock trends precede hiring activity, at least over the past couple years. In late 2018, for instance, when Apple stock tumbled from $229 in October to $157 by the end of the year, Apple appeared to tap the breaks on hiring activity. Immediately following that dip, job listings at Apple fell from a high of 4,900 in January 2019 to 3,900 by April of that year.

That was when Apple stock began to rebound. Around the same time, Apple fired up job listings, increasing openings from 3,890 in April 2019 to the 5,500 high we're seeing today.

Coincidence? Possible, but if there's one thing shareholders like to see is company growth, and more often than not, growth comes from bringing on star talent that keeps a company like Apple innovating and ahead of the competition.

While hiring in the USA remains Apple's largest focus, openings in China have also taken off as the company fires up more manufacturing and design centers in Asia. Hiring there far outpaces other countries, with openings increasing from 244 on October 1, 2019, to 400 as of this week.

That change in China represents an increase of 64%, far outpacing the rate of change during the same time period in the United States.

From October 1, 2019 to this week, Apple openings increased from 3,200 to 3,620, a still healthy jump of 13.1%, but still not near the activity we're seeing in China.

Apple's hiring activity in China has been a bit of a roller coaster as it's navigated tariffs and government pressure. Just five months ago, we reported that Apple jobs in China saw a decrease in its manufacturing centers. More recently, Apple spun up hiring in Texas after a very public flirtation with President Trump regarding keeping its Mac Pro manufacturing plan up and running in Texas.

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. 

Further Reading: 

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