apple store employees are paid relatively well and have relatively low turnover rates, a reason to complain?

Walk into an Apple Store and one thing becomes clear right away — the great majority of Apple Store employees are glad to be there and ready, nay, motivated to serve you. A new New York Times exposé (eyes roll) tells, however, a behind scenes story of low pay, low morale and the difficulty workers face in rising to the top at the world’s most profitable retailer.

Today’s Apple’s Retail Army, Long on Loyalty but Short on Pay is different in that The Times isn’t going for outrage — they’re actually sticking pretty close to the facts.

And though Apple is unparalleled as a retailer, when it comes to its lowliest workers, the company is a reflection of the technology industry as a whole … The Internet and advances in computing have created untold millionaires, but most of the jobs created by technology giants are service sector positions — sales employees and customer service representatives, repairmen and delivery drivers — that offer little of Silicon Valley’s riches or glamour.

These facts are known.

Additionally, Apple Stores generate $5,647 per square foot, a bit less than double the amount Tiffany does. The rub here, for the New York Times, is that a Tiffany associate earns on average $15.60 versus an average Apple Store employee’s $11.91.

Also known, but is it outrageous? Shouldn’t workers be getting a bigger share of the money?

They already are as Apple pushed up annual raises from September to late June.

Even without the raises Apple Store employees already make above average retail wages and get much better than average benefits (i.e. healthcare). Further, most rank and file Apple retail workers are young, single and generally inexperienced.

So, honestly, these folks are getting paid what the market will bear and then a bit more.

Don’t believe it? Apple claims a 90 percent retention rate (NYT doesn’t quibble), which is very high indeed.

Further, as noted Tapscape’s headline, which is NYT’s conclusion, the punchline is simply that there’s no shortage of people wanting to sell and service iPhones and Macs. Lastly, if you want to see what a miserable retail worker that probably makes a good deal less with no healthcare looks like, then visit other stores around the mall — try the multiplex or any shoe store.

Have an Apple Store story to share? Sound off in the comments…

Steve Jobs introduces the first Apple Store, in 2001, a blast from the not too distant past.