What Apple's employee bonus says about the job market

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) is one of the latest companies to provide bonuses to employees following the passage of tax reform, offering $2,500 for most employees as a restricted stock bonus.

While tax reform is behind Apple’s move, it could also be yet another positive signal about the state of the U.S. job market and a potential strategy by the company to retain employees.

The U.S. unemployment rate is currently at 4.1%, and according to the Federal Reserve’s Beige Book, the job market is tight enough that some employers are having a hard time finding workers.

Will Potter, co-founder at executive search firm Bamboo Talent, which focuses on tech executives, told FOX Business that the current job market is “highly competitive” with small tech companies and startups having a hard time competing with the big tech companies such as Apple, Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) and Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX).

“The increase in the value of these companies’ restricted stock is astronomical, and it’s hard for potential employees to not consider working for a publicly traded [technology] company, rather than a startup,” said Potter.

According to Paysa, the average tenure at Apple is 1.85 years. Last January, Apple announced that in 2016 it had a record-high employee retention rate of 81%.

Apple did not return FOX Business’ request for comment by the time of publication.