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Apple using Texas cash to boost US hiring

$21m from Texas, 3,600 jobs to Austin

With the help of a $21m investment from a Texas job-creation fund, Apple will construct a $304m campus in Austin that will add over new 3,600 jobs to its current 47,000 US employees.

"Investments like this further Texas' potential to become the nation's next high-tech hub," said Texas governor Rick Perry in a statement.

The new jobs in the Texas capital, however, won't be high-tech, per se. According to Perry, the Austin campus will be the site of "customer support, sales and accounting functions."

The $21m investment will come from the Texas Enterprise Fund (TEF), which describes itself as "the largest 'deal-closing' fund of its kind in the nation." The cash grant will be spread over 10 years, Perry's office explained, and is "contingent upon the finalization of contracts and a local incentive agreement with the City of Austin and Travis County."

Such direct investments and tax benefits have become increasingly common in the US, with states such as Texas competing with other regions for corporate investment.

During his brief tenure as a candidate for the Republican presidential nomination, Perry was a vocal defender of the free market, but he has defended his administration's decidedly activist wooing of corporations to move to his state.

"We saw the need for the state to be a participant, and we consider ourselves to be a competitor with the private sector, and there's some people that get a little bit nervous about that," Perry told The Baylor Lariat on Friday. "But generally, we're the last resort, if you will, as a funding mechanism for some of these companies."

The TEF was likely not a "last resort" for Apple, which in its most recent financial filing revealed that it's sitting on $97.6bn in cash and securities. ®

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