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Maiden locals bemoan lack of jobs from Apple datacenter

updated 09:25 pm EST, Sat November 26, 2011

Apple's North Carolina datacenter shows divide

Apple's Maiden, North Carolina datacenter for iCloud and iTunes is doing little to help local business, a story from the small town has found. Although the state gave significant breaks to be chosen for the datacenter, the Washington Post found that the sheer efficiency of the server cluster has led to little improvement in the higher than average unemployment in the area. Only 50 workers are needed to run the datacenter full-time, and about 250 contractors are needed for security and other supporting work.

Many of those in the 3,400-person town of Maiden rarely even see the Apple workers, let alone qualify for positions inside. The rural location's normal business focuses on physical labor and often doesn't foster the skill sets that would be needed to work at the cloud computing building.

Town Manager William Herms argues that, even though Apple corporate pays 50 percent less in taxes than usual and personal taxes are down 85 percent, the boost to the tax base is helpful to the town as a whole. Officials have argued that most of the benefits will come in the long term, as datacenters from Facebook, Google, and others begin to create a technology hub in a previously quiet area.

Younger workers are so far the most likely to benefit, since they have a better chance at getting the needed education or of switching career paths. A consensus from those in Maiden, however, is that only the Fulbright family, which was paid $1.7 million to vacate its land for Apple's datacenter, was the clear beneficiary in the short term. Others in town have noted that the combination of the economy with the usual rural decline was still leading to very difficult conditions.

"[It's] the extreme of tough," hardware store owner Samantha Saunders told the newspaper.

Apple datacenter: the large white building at left, off of Startown Road

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by MacNN Staff



  1. Bobfozz

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Not knocking Apple but...

    This kind of hiring "environment" is typical of companies getting tax breaks. In a similar vein, allowing the location of River Gambling Boats in Iowa, and accompanying tax breaks, nothing really ever materialized with local businesses. This is gobbledygook used by consultants to promote a certain eco system, even when it comes to building prisons. This whole tax break thing is usually a sham.

  1. mkral

    Joined: Dec 1969


    not too bad

    Completely agree with Malax above, but also 300 jobs out of a town size of 3,400 people seems like a pretty good dent in the local economy. Obviously not everyone is going to live in the town & some employees/contractors are likely to be driving in from the surrounding areas, but assuming they are paying income taxes in Maiden, it seems like a decent sized jump in local income taxes.

    Comment buried. Show
  1. facebook_Joe

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Nov 2011


    What did they expect?

    Chalk up another win for the "job creators." North Carolina probably gave away plenty of $$$$$ to get Apple to build the facility. That's the same way so many of U.S. jobs ended up in China or Mexico. I will bet there are also plenty of politicians taking credit for bringing their constituents all this wonderful "investment." The locals will never see much $$$$ from "developments" like these. All the cash goes to the bloodsucking politicians and the "job creators." and the profits end up in offshore bank accounts.

  1. Raman

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Land tax

    Apple will be paying tax on the improved land to the local government at least. I dont think anyone fell ever though (and I out appl promised) that farmers wol be given jobs.

    At least the datacenter is in the USA.

    Finally, correct me if I'm wong but theres much more space at that site to house more tech workers - possibly from other tech- heavy parts of NC.

  1. ElectroTech

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Type of work in the data centre

    I guess that locals envisioned large rows of filing cabinets and huge numbers of people to pick up the files in carts to be run to another location where football field sized offices were filled with people who would type it into the 'internet' for all the users.

  1. Murgen

    Joined: Dec 1969



    I assume no locals were used in the construction phase at all, Apple just beamed the entire structure in. This sounds like your typical, gee news is slow, let's say something bad about someone. The fact is Apple is there long term and so are its tax dollars. This is like being upset when not everyone gets to work in the newly constructed hospital, fact is lots got to build it which if you need a job even having one for the months needed to build is appreciated.

  1. rtbarry

    Joined: Dec 1969


    i guess...

    apple should move it elsewhere. to some other city that will appreciate the ongoing spillover of money and resources that will come from having a site of this caliber there.


  1. iphonerulez

    Joined: Dec 1969


    I guess they're upset that the

    wealthiest tech company in the world isn't giving any of its money away. Apple is not a charity nor is it the type of company that likes to keep a lot of meatbags around who don't have anything to do. I'm surprised the locals didn't know how many jobs the data center was going to create right from inception. It would be nice if Apple could offer some free services for the locals, considering how much spare cash Apple has that's pretty much going to waste, but Apple is known to be a very tight-fisted company.

  1. David Esrati

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Corporate welfare

    The practice of politicians granting tax breaks to businesses on a case by case basis is anti-American and should be made a criminal offense.
    What is the difference between a small contractor hiring 2 people and Apple hiring 50? Apple is using shareholder money- taking zero risk- and just using it's size to shakedown small government. We need tax policies that are fair- and realize that small companies like the contractor are the real job creators in this country.
    Anyone defending Apple- needs to think twice about why they shouldn't pay every penny that the small guy has to pay. With local governments, state governments and our federal government all going or already broke- politicians have no business giving any tax breaks to the worlds most valuable company.
    Last time I checked, the military that protects us all- doesn't provide differing levels of service to different people- and without it- and the strength of our patent system, the value of our dollar and the intellectual capital of our country wouldn't be here to allow Apple to operate a global company the way it does.
    Pay up Apple.

  1. guzzi

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Where are the politicians?

    Did the local, county or state politicians ever ask how many jobs would be created when they gave Apple the Tax incentives? Typical...blame the company employing people not the political hacks that gave away the farm. I'm surprised the current administration thru it's enforcement arm the NLRB even allowed Apple to construct such a facility without forcing Apple to use only I.B.O.B.M. union workers .
    ( International Brotherhood of BIT movers )

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