It’s iPhone production season, and that means that Apple manufacturers need to recruit enough workers to build them. While this seasonal demand happens every year, in 2021 it’s heightened by the worldwide labor shortage coming out of the pandemic.
As a result, Apple’s manufacturers are working hard to offer bonuses to tempt people to spend a few months on the production line. According to a report from Taiwan’s Economic Daily paper, manufacturer Pegatron is offering extra paychecks for both workers and those who recommend their friends for jobs.
The report notes that:
“Based on the recruitment information of major human agency companies in Mainland China, Shanghai Pegatron significantly increased the amount of recruitment bonuses in June, and human agency companies have raised the rebate fee, which is approximately between RMB 7,500 ($1,158) and 8,500 ($1,312), which is significantly more than the average of RMB 5,000 ($772) in May.
‘Rebate’ is the common name of mainland job subsidy. The main reason is that mainland factories have difficulty in recruiting workers. The factory will give the agency a certain amount of recruitment fees and goals. The agency will share a part of the fee with job seekers to increase the number of recruits.”
Recruiting enough workers
There is also a direct recruitment bonus is RMB 2,500 ($386), and an employee referral bonus of RMB 1,800 ($278). Foxconn is also said to be offering bonuses. According to the South China Morning Post:
“As part of its ‘biggest raise in the past five years’, Foxconn said the unit that produces mechanical parts for the iPhone – called innovative Product Enclosure Business Group (iPEBG) – is offering up to 8,000 yuan (US$1,237) as signing bonus to former workers willing to return to the Zhengzhou production line for the peak season, a jump from 5,500 yuan a month ago and 5,000 yuan in 2020, according to recruitment posts published on Monday by the Taiwan-based company, the world’s largest electronics contract manufacturer.”
This isn’t the first time we’ve heard about bonuses ramping up for the next-gen iPhone. In a report back in May I wrote that:
“Each new recruit will earn a bonus of $1,158 (7,500 yuan) if they work for 90 days, and are on duty for at least 55 days during that time. This is twice the 3,500 bonus that was on offer at the end of March. It’s the third bonus increase in the past month.”
Building iPhones is a tough job that requires workers to focus for long periods of time. Often they live on premises in dormitories that are provided in what are, in essence, giant university-style campuses. As with many factory jobs, worker turnover is high — meaning that companies must do what they can to recruit employees. Similar things are being seen in the services industry in the United States. For example, one McDonald’s restaurant recently offered employees a free iPhone if they stuck around for six months.