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Photo: Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images.

Apple announced Monday that it is allocating $400 million toward affordable housing and homeowner assistance programs in California this year, as part of the $2.5 billion commitment announced in November.

Why it matters: The housing crisis has worsened in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, forcing states and cities to pause spending on affordable housing projects.

The backdrop: Big Tech's wealth has been blamed by some for driving up housing prices in the San Francisco Bay Area and making it unaffordable for teachers, firefighters and other workers who support the region.

  • Apple, along with Facebook, Google and Microsoft, committed a collective $5 billion to support affordable housing initiatives, but it ran into the reality that money alone can't solve the problem without changes to zoning and financing restrictions.

Details: One project is financed with Housing Trust Silicon Valley to create 250 units of affordable housing in the Bay Area. Another will provide mortgage and down payment assistance.

  • In conjunction with the California Housing Finance Agency, Apple says it will launch an "affordable housing investment support program" to increase funding available for low- to moderate-income housing.
  • Apple also says it's supporting the construction of units with Destination: Home, which helps vulnerable individuals.

Go deeper: Big Tech spends billions to help housing crisis

Go deeper

Ina Fried, author of Login
Oct 8, 2020 - Technology

Microsoft app store playbook swipes at Apple, Google

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

In a not-so-subtle dig at Apple and Google, Microsoft today announced a series of "principles" for its Windows 10 App Store — including letting users choose their own payment system for in-app purchases — that it says should serve as a model for other app stores.

Why it matters: The move comes as antitrust regulators in the U.S. and around the world are spotlighting how both Apple and Google manage their mobile platforms and as some developers charge them with running their app stores unfairly.

U.S. economy added 379,000 jobs in February

Data: FRED; Chart: Axios Visuals

The economy added 379,000 jobs in February, while the unemployment rate dropped from 6.3% to 6.2%, the Labor Department said on Friday.

Why it matters: The first Biden-era jobs report shows hiring surged as coronavirus cases eased — though a full recovery remains far off. Economists expected the economy to add roughly 182,000 jobs last month, after adding a paltry 49,000 in January.

This story is breaking news. Please check back for updates.

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
1 hour ago - Economy & Business

Workers are getting a really bad deal

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

This week's spate of data highlighted the difficulties Americans who have lost their jobs have had bouncing back from the coronavirus pandemic, and just how much those who have managed to keep their jobs have been working.

What's happening: The Labor Department reported Thursday that the productivity of American workers fell by a revised 4.2% annual rate in the fourth quarter, the largest decline in 39 years.