Apple recently finished building a huge $1 billion data centre in a town that suffers from high unemployment rates, but residents question its benefits after the realisation that it has brought just 50 full-time jobs to the area.

Apple announced that the data centre would be built in Maiden, a small town with a population of under 3,500. The company has said that the server farm, codenamed "Project Dolphin", supports iTunes and iCloud services.

The government and residents in the local area believed that the development would be the answer to the unemployment problems suffered by the town. However, just 50 full-time jobs and an expected 250 "indirect contracting jobs" have been created.

The Washington Post reports that state and local officials have awarded financial incentives to technology giants such as Apple, Google and Facebook to build their data centres in North Carolina, because the unemployment level is almost 13 per cent, which is one of the highest in the US. However, these data centres are handled mainly by computers and engineers at remote locations, and therefore only create a small number of jobs.

State officials argue that although cloud computing doesn't create many jobs, construction jobs are beneficial.

"Apple really doesn't mean a thing to this town," said Tony Parker, a local furniture maker, when speaking to The Washington Post.

Two residents that certainly did benefit from Apple's development are Donnie and Kathy Fulbright, who were paid $1.7 million by Apple for their land.

Greenpeace have criticised Apple over the data centre, which the environmental group called 'dirty'.