Apple’s working hours in China down to 48 a week, within 1 hour a day of the US average

Apple’s working hours in China down to 48 a week, within 1 hour a day of the US average

Apple’s ongoing reporting of its efforts to address excessive work hours has been updated with new information. The latest numbers show that the average work-week has fallen to an average of 48 hours per week, that’s within 1 hour a day of the U.S. average, which sits at 42.6 hours a week.

This is even more impressive when you consider, as John Gruber of Daring Fireball points out, that this was during the ramping up of production for Apple’s new iPad, which was just launched last Friday.

Apple mentioned in January that it had collected data on 500,000 workers at its suppliers and found that 84% of them complied with the maximum 60-hour work week that it lays out in its employment code. In February of 2012, that number went up 5% to 89% and the average work hours fell to 48 per week.

Apple says that this is “a substantial improvement over previous results, but we can do better. We will continue to share our progress by reporting this data on a monthly basis.”

Apple posts other results on the page as well, including the fact that it required 52 facilities to implement policies prohibiting discrimination based on certain medical tests. 24 facilitates were found conducting pregnancy tests and were stopped, and 56 others were also required to put policies in place that prevented discrimination based on pregnancy.

Apple also continues to investigate incidents of underage labor in its factories but says that “this year, our audits of final assembly suppliers found no cases of underage labor.”

Underage workers were one of the primary complaints leveraged against Apple by fabulist Mike Daisey in his monologue, which was broadcast on a now-retracted This American Life episode earlier this year. Daisey’s reports of underage workers at Apple factories turned out to be outright fabrications.

Nevertheless, Apple says, “we will continue regular audits and go deeper into our supply chain to ensure that there are no underage workers at any Apple supplier.”

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