Apple recently completed a massive $1 billion data centre to help power its cloud computing products is proving a huge disappointment to the locals.
After the outfit got all the sweeteners in the world to set up shop in the North Carolina foothills region locals expected it to bring shedloads of jobs. However so far only 50 people have been hired on the site and rumours suggest that it has not even been switched on.
Residents can’t comprehend how expensive facilities stretching across hundreds of acres can create so few jobs, especially after thousands of positions in the region have been lost to cheaper foreign competition. The tame Apple press claims it is because a data centre does not need that many staff, however it is a moot point if it is working yet. Much of Apple's cloud appears to be using Amazon's servers. Of course Jobs' Mob are not saying anything.
The consensus among some residents is that the only people who benefited from Apple’s data center are Donnie and Kathy Fulbright. Apple paid them $1.7 million for their land, and the Fulbrights built themselves a new home nearby.
However North Carolina legislators are still bending over backwards to give Apple sweetners for setting up the site. The state’s corporate income tax law was even changed to let Apple get $46 million in tax breaks.
State officials are now admitting that cloud computing does not create as many jobs as traditional industries, but at least the construction jobs are important and that data centers are just one tactic in a host of economic development strategies.