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Apple denies second round of layoff rumors

Valleywag has reported twice this week that Apple has laid off small groups of workers, but the company has now denied both reports.

For the second time in a week, Apple has denied rumors that it has laid off workers.

On Friday, Valleywag reported that a tipster informed it of layoffs in the Mac Hardware and Pro Applications group, describing Apple's Cupertino, Calif., headquarters as having "lots of security around" and saying "it seems like a lot" of employees were affected. Earlier in the week Valleywag published a similar report that 50 sales employees were laid off from Apple.

Apple spokesman Steve Dowling denied both reports Friday. "It's not true," he said, referring to the rumors involving both rounds of supposed job cuts.

Apple's ability to ride out the worst economic period since Ronald Reagan's first term has been questioned over the last several weeks, with reports that Mac sales are on the decline and a substantial drop in its stock price Friday amid rising unemployment and falling consumer confidence. But the company has a cash position that most of its competitors can't match, and was not expected to have to resort to layoffs at this point.

Over 32,000 people now work for Apple. The company went on a hiring binge last year, adding workers mostly in its retail division. Part-time workers in that group have reportedly endured some cuts, but no full-time employees have stepped forward this week to confirm they've been laid off, as happened at IBM earlier this year.