US policymakers are looking to Apple as a "symbol of US industry" thanks to the success of the iPod, but is Apple's a good example to copy in the light of a collapse in the US manufacturing employment market.

The Boston Herald has some concerns about Apple's outsourcing of manufacturing jobs overseas at a time when the US jobs market is faultering.

Reporter Brett Arends looks at the company's financials. He concludes: "When you look at Apple as a microcosm for American manufacturing, the picture looks less appealing".

He explains that from net sales of $3.2 billion, the "lion's share" went in the cost of sales – much of that to manufacturing overseas - mostly in China.

"Sales, administration and other general costs, spent here [in the US] and around the world, came to another $447 million," he explains.

Just $119 million was spent on US-based research and development – 4 per cent of costs.

Jobs from Jobs

This report comes as concerns about a collapse in the manufacturing employment market in the US caused stocks to slide on Friday. A government report showed May payrolls grew at the weakest pace in 21 months, writes Reuters.

Companies like Apple could be criticized for using "cheap workers in cheap countries, particularly China", to do the "low-end, low-value-added work of actually bending the metal, molding the plastic, pouring the silicone, and banging out the products".

The Boston Herald writes: "Some wonder if there will ever be anywhere near enough high value-added jobs to replace the old blue-collar ones that have vanished. Or if those high-end jobs will be accessible to anyone but the bright, well-educated few."