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Apple to double sick days, boost other benefits for retail workers in U.S.

People walk past an Apple retail store on July 13, 2021 in New York City.
Angela Weiss | AFP | Getty Images

Apple is increasing benefits for U.S. retail workers, including doubling sick days for full-time and part-time employees, an Apple representative confirmed to CNBC.

The move indicates that Apple is making changes to attract and retain hourly workers for its retail stores in a tight labor market. The increase in sick days also addresses complaints from retail workers about potentially losing out on pay because of policies stemming from the pandemic and the CDC-recommended isolation period for close contacts or positive tests.

Apple operates 270 retail stores in the U.S.

According to Bloomberg News, which first reported the news, full-time retail workers will get 12 paid sick days per year, twice as many as before. Retail employees will also receive more vacation days if eligible, and part-time employees will get up to six vacation days. Retail employees are also now eligible for paid parental leave and can access discounted emergency child care.

It’s currently a job-seeker’s market in the United States, especially for hourly or retail jobs. The Labor Department said there were more than 4.6 million more job openings than unemployed workers in December, for example.

Workers are increasingly hopping from job to job to gain more pay or better working conditions. Economists expect workers to continue quitting and joining new companies at elevated rates through this year.

Many companies have raised wages to retain or recruit new workers. Amazon offers new hires an average of $18 per hour and recently raised max salaries for its corporate workers. Costco pays its workers $17 per hour. Bank of America has pledged to pay its hourly workers $25 per hour by 2025.

As of September, Apple said it had 154,000 employees around the world, although that figure includes international workers and the company’s corporate workforce in addition to retail employees in the U.S.

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