Sprint has revealed that it is going to hire about 5,000 personnel, and U.S. President-elect Donald Trump quickly claimed credit for purportedly negotiating the deal.
Trump has lumped those figures with the 3,000 new hires planned by a startup called OneWeb, for a grand total of 8,000 new jobs, which Trump has promptly announced as very good news for the economy.
Sprint is owned by Japanese firm Softbank.
Deal With Softbank
Based on Trump’s pronouncement, the Sprint expansion involves the repatriation of jobs that have been shipped overseas. The carrier has cut its workforce by as much as 9,000 since 2012. A portion of this number was probably relocated offshore, hence, Trump’s claim that Sprint is bringing those positions back to the U.S.
Sprint, however, stated that the 5,000 employees it is currently eyeing will include staff for newly created positions. In an official statement, the company indirectly referenced Trump’s role by stating that it is willing to work with his administration and do its part to ensure that more opportunities are created that would contribute to the achievement of prosperity for all Americans.
OneWeb’s expansion, on the other hand, is driven by the company’s plan to build a satellite network after securing a massive $1.2 billion investment from Softbank.
It is not yet clear if the 8,000 jobs are part of the 50,000 new hires that Softbank had previously announced with Trump in New York.
Masayoshi Son, Softbank’s CEO, touted his company’s $50 billion investment in the U.S. after a meeting with the president-elect on Dec. 6.
Trump promptly underscored this, carefully highlighting how the Softbank investment has been made on account of his election, and noting the impact generated by the “spirit and hope” that it is bringing in the country.
Trump has also met with a group of U.S. tech leaders, but so far no new job announcement has come out of that event. Foxconn, however, Apple’s partner in China, has signaled its intent to expand its operation in the U.S., potentially contributing to the number of new employment opportunities.
Some observers, however, are not impressed, pointing out that the job market was quite robust for most of 2016. There are even those who state that the 8,000 new jobs will hardly make an impact on the U.S. labor market due to its sheer size.
Furthermore, there are those who are wary about Trump’s negotiation with Softbank. Sprint has been trying to merge with T-Mobile, and it is being prevented by the U.S. Federal Communications Commission and the Justice Department on the grounds that it would harm competition.
According to the Washington Post, the Trump administration will likely favor a less regulated economy, leading to a likely Sprint and T-Mobile merger in the near future.
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